Are the youth exiting agriculture en masse?
This paper by Eugenie Maïga, Luc Christiaensen, and Amparo Palacios-Lopez, investigates the extent of youth engagement in agriculture in six African countries using unique data from the Living Standards Measurement Surveys-Integrated surveys on agriculture (LSMSISA). They employ both descriptive and regression analysis to compare the hours worked per week in agriculture by the youth (16-35) and the prime-age group (36-60). The descriptive analysis suggests that the Nigerian (62.8%), Malawian (23.4%), Tanzanian (17.8%), Ugandan (16.0%), and Ethiopian (9.9%), youth work less hours per week in agriculture than the older age groups. In Niger, there is a small difference (0.7%) in hours per week in agriculture by the two groups. All differences in mean hours worked per by the two groups are strongly significant (5% level or higher) except for Niger where there is the difference in mean hours worked is insignificant. The regression results suggest that age is a strong correlate of hours worked per week in agriculture in Nigeria, Tanzania, and Malawi and a weak correlate in Niger and Uganda. The correlation between age and hours worked per week in agriculture is insignificant in Ethiopia. Other important correlates of hours worked per week in agriculture include education, gender, rural residence, wealth index, farm size per capita, land ownership, and livestock ownership. Based on both the descriptive and regression analyses, we can conclude that the youth are leaving agriculture in Nigeria, Malawi and Uganda. The results also show that the exit from youth in Southern Nigeria’s youth is more pronounced than the exit from youth in Northern Nigeria.