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Cross-cutting challenges to food security

Youth and employment in food value chains

Cross-cutting challenges to FNS - Youth and employment
Image: via Flickr (by: Australian Govt)

In developing countries, over 60% of the population is below the age of 25. This youth population will only continue to rise with the high trend of global population growth. The majority of these young people still live in rural areas. With an average unemployment rate of 40%, they are disproportionately affected by not having a job compared with the broader global population. At the same time, sustainable food and nutrition security in a world that will soon reach 9 billion people is a challenge. That is why job creation for youth in rural areas and food value chains, particularly in LMICs, is increasingly tabled. Under this Knowledge Portal topic trends and developments in the field of youth in agriculture are presented.

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Climate adaptation and job prospects for young people in agriculture
Published by IFPRI,
This brief aims for a better understanding of the intersection between climate resilience and youth employment, and where it may be stronger geographically, which is necessary to generate better policy and adaptation options for the future of agriculture and of young people. ow-income, agriculture-dependent countries with rapidly growing cohorts of young people needing jobs must make significant investments in agricultural science and technology, rural infrastructure, and human capital to generate employment and adapt to climate change. »
Hard work and hazard: Young people and agricultural commercialisation in Africa
Published by Journal of Rural Studies,
This article reports findings on the steps and pathways thorugh with young people construct livelihoods in hotspots of agricultural commercialisation. Findings draw attention to a new potential area for intervention: the use of social protection measures to help minimise downside risks associated with hazards, so that the young people's hard-earned assets are less vulnerable to loss. »
Youth employment challenge and rural transformation in Africa
Published by Springer,
This study investigated youth employment challenge and rural transformation in Sub-Saharan Africa for 54 independent African countries from 2010 to 2017. The new interest in young people as economic agents within Africa’s agrifood systems is to be welcomed. Empowering the youth is developing Africa through rural transformation. This may come quickly if youth employment becomes the litmus test of Africa’s development policies.  »
Proudly Agripreneurs! Learning from 24 young African business leaders
Published by CTA, Agribusiness TV ,
This booklet introduces 24 young entrepreneurs and explains how they are addressing the key youth agripreneurship challenges they are facing. The stories published in this book show that it has helped to promote young entrepreneurs and enable them to reach new clients and establish themselves in markets that were still unexplored, while at the same time reaching other young Africans. »
Inclusive finance and rural youth
Published by IFAD,
This study analyses inclusive finance and rural youth through cutting-age research with new insights and approaches that have emerged over the years in the field. The overall narrative clearly documents the ways in which rural youth engage with the economy, policy and institutions and identifies the rapid changes occurring across the globe as well as the opportunities and challenges that young people living in rural areas encounter in their different livelihoods. »
Youth opportunity spaces in low-emission dairy development in Kenya
Published by CCAFS-CGIAR,
This note aimed to understand how intensification in the dairy sector, in combination with changing urban-rural dynamics, influences young women and men's employment opportunities in Kenya. strategic attention should be given to social and rural development outcomes in the design of low emission development interventions and specific focus on how to increase the potential of intensification to support youth employment and youth equitable outcomes. »
Investing in rural youth in the Near East, North Africa, Europe and Central Asia
Published by IFAD,
This study reviews the opportunities and challenges facing rural youth in the Near East, North Africa, Europe and Central Asia (NEN) region and suggests a number of programmes and policy priorities that governments can take into consideration. Arguably, the most important issue facing rural youth in the NEN region today is weak job creation. »
Youth and jobs in rural Africa: Beyond stylized facts
Published by Oxford University Press,
This book uses survey data to build a nuanced understanding of the constraints and opportunities facing rural youth in Africa. This book finds that a balance between alarm and optimism is warranted. Addressing youth employment in Africa is a global challenge, but it is one that was overcome by other developing regions when they underwent similar demographic transitions three decades ago. Currently, youth employment is a major policy goal today, however policies themselves often fall short of addressing the constraints facing young job seekers. »
Transaction costs, land rental markets, and their impact on youth access to agriculture in Tanzania
Published by Land Economics journal,
This study estimates the extent to which land rental markets provide a pathway for youth to enter into agriculture, and how transaction costs may impede youth access to renting land. The article provides evidence that, while rental markets are important avenues for the acquisition of farmland by young farmers, the transaction costs faced by younger farmers attempting to access land rental markets appear to be higher than those faced by older farmers. »
2019 Rural Development Report: Creating opportunities for rural youth
Published by IFAD,
This report attempts to inform policies, programmes, and investments to promote a rural transformation that is inclusive of rural youth. Rural youth development is powered by improvements in three mutually-reinforcing factors: productivity, connectivity and agency. To improve opportunities for rural youth policies and investments have to be integrated into national and local strategies, policies and programmes. »
Empowering youth to engage in responsible investment in agricultural and food systems: Challenges, opportunities and lessons learned from six African countries
Published by FAO,
This report aims to enhance understanding on the main challenges and opportunities to empower youth to carry out and benefit from responible agricultural investment by giving voice to young farmers, agri-entrepreneurs and workers. Enhancing the inclusiveness and efficiency of policy processes was one of the main priorities. In particular the need to encourage and strengthen the participation of youth in coordination mechanisms. »
Role of land access in youth migration and youth employment decisions: Empirical evidence from rural Nigeria
Published by IFPRI,
The paper examines the role of land access in youth migration and employment decisions in Nigeria.The size of expected land inheritance is significantly and negatively associated with long distance migration and migration to urban areas. Rural-to-urban migration and the likelihood of youth involvement in the dual economy is more responsive to the size of the expected land inheritance for less educated youth. »
Facilitating next-generation African, Caribbean and Pacific agriculture through youth entrepreneurship, job creation and digitalisation
Published by CTA,
This workshop identified critical success factors for rural entrepreneurship and job creation and resulted in two briefs. The first argues that outh-inclusive investments to modernise the agricultural sector will unleash its huge potential. The second explores the challenges and opportunities facing young people trying to enter the agricultural and agribusiness sector. »
We’re ready, the system’s not: Youth perspectives on agricultural careers in South Africa
Published by Agrekon,
This research was undertaken to better understand the paradox of young people turning away from agricultural employment in spite of such high levels of unemployment in the country. From a youth perspective, the results suggest that the interests and expectations of youth are more than sufficient to warrant substantial investment into engaging them as active co-creators in the re-design of the food system. However, these positive aspirations tended to be at odds with the kinds of jobs created by an increasingly corporatised food regime, »
Digital pathways for youth in agriculture: AFA Case Study
Published by Mercy Corps, Mastercard Foundation,
This case study aimed to identify successful pathways for youth livelihoods in agriculture. The study defines 4 youth personas that vary along key demographic, behavioural and attitudinal criteria, which reveals unique pathways to success in agriculture. »
Generation Africa – A landscape study: Youth enterprise in Africa’s agri-food sector
Published by YARA International, Econet,
This landscape study seeks to answer the question: "What can we do today to inspire and propel the "agri-food stars" of tomorrow?" The study reveals a window of opportunity to strengthen the ecosystem of support around young entrepreneurs, helping them to build successful enterprises, including high-growth businesses, spurring job creation and a vibrant agri-food economy. »
Stimulating agribusiness entrepreneurship to solve youth unemployment in Kenya
Published by IDS,
This policy brief analyses the potential of agribusiness to address youth unemployment in Kenya and calls for increased collaboration between agribusiness owners, government and educationalists through entrepreneurship development. Entrepreneurship education and training is vital in preparing young people for the job opportunities that could be available to them and for the evolving nature of the agricultural sector. »
Youth employment and the private sector in Africa
Published by Institute of Development Studies (IDS),
Globally, governments, development agencies, and inter-governmental institutions have invested heavily in skills-building interventions seeking to enhance the employability of youths. However, policy actors are becoming more aware of the shortcomings of skills-building interventions, and attention is shifting to focus on how to promote productivity, boost the private sector, and generate the kind of growth that could create jobs. Empirical research on youth employment in the private sector is sparse. This IDS Bulletin begins to fill that gap. »
Getting ahead and getting by: Exploring outcomes of youth livelihoods programs
Published by Mastercard Foundation,
This report examines factors that influence young people’s earning opportunities and well-being. The research is based on the experiences of 130 young people participating in two programs supported by Learn, Earn and Save (LES), a Mastercard Foundation initiative that was established to test models for market-level training and opportunities. The report looks at youth’s post-program earning pathways by grouping them into two categories: ‘getting by’ and ‘getting ahead’. »
Youth in Food: Opportunities for education and employment
Published by RUAF Foundation,
This issue explores challenges and solutions raised by migration pressures with a focus on youth employment in city region food systems. The collection of articles in the magazine explore opportunities for and barriers to youth employment along the entire food system. »
Gendered aspirations and occupations among rural youth, in agriculture and beyond: A cross-regional perspective
Published by Journal of Gender, Agriculture and Food Security,
This paper explores rural young women's and men's occupational aspirations and trajectories in India, Mali, Malawi, Morocco, Mexico, Nigeria and the Philippines. Rural youth predominantly aspires formal blue and white-collar jobs. Some young men aspired to engage in agriculture, young women did not due to gender norms. »
Drivers and patterns of rural youth migration and its impact on food security and rural livelihoods in Tunisia
Published by FAO, European University Institute,
This report addresses the determinants of migration and mobility, the patterns and types of rural youth migration and the impact on rural livelihoods, food security, agriculture and development in rural areas in Tunisia. International migrants often have higher educational levels than non-migrants. »
How digital apps and services are boosting rural youth employment
Published by FAO,
In this blog by FAO, several digitial innovations examples are mentioned that are stimulating youth back to agriculture. There are already new ways of working in agriculture that harnesses digital and technological innovations, rendering it more efficient and, not as a small byproduct, providing new opportunities and services for young entrepreneurs. »
Realising the potential of agribusiness to reduce youth unemployment in Ethiopia
Published by IDS,
This policy brief by the IDS highlights the potential of agribusiness for youth in Ethiopia and highlights the gaps that need to be addressed for further success. Agribusiness in Ethiopia has grown significantly in the last 20 years, and this growth is set to continue. This transition presents opportunities to address the country’s high youth unemployment and for agribusinesses to participate in global, regional, and local markets.  »
The future of rural youth in developing countries
Published by OECD,
This study aims to shed light on the potential of local value chains to create more, better and sustainable jobs for rural youth in developing countries. Rural youth are turning their backs on small-scale agriculture, yet a growing local and regional demand for food represents a unique untapped opportunity. »
Can sustainable agriculture mitigate massive youth migration in Africa?
Published by Impakter,
This article is on sustainable agriculture lever to mitigate youth migration in Africa. Sustainable agricultural transformation in an approach that offers one of the most robust and immediate opportunities for addressing several of the drivers of migration in Africa. »
Agricultural policy, employment opportunities and social mobility in rural Malawi
Published by Agrarian South: Journal of Political Economy ,
This article investigates the question of how the youth and policy-makers view agricultural development as a means of social mobility for youth in Malawi. It is argued that Malawi is missing the strategic policy direction by not implementing non-traditional agriculture interventions that would engage the youth in a bid to reduce massive youth unemployment. »
Rural migration in Tunisia: Drivers and patterns of rural youth migration and its impact on food security and rural livelihoods in Tunisia
Published by The Migration Policy Centre & FAO,
This report by The Migration Policy Centre and FAO, addresses the determinants of migration and mobility, the patterns and types of rural youth outmigration and the impact of rural youth migration on food security and rural livelihoods and societies in origin regions in Tunisia.  Given the key role of agriculture both as a preferred sector for transnational engagement of migrants and as a targeted domain of activity and investment upon future return, policies focusing on migration and rural development could address both these forms of diaspora mobilisation. »
Development for youths in agribusiness in Uganda
Published by IITA,
These two working papers focus on youth in agribusiness in Uganda. The first article studies the most efficient strategy to tackle constraints and provide opportunities for Ugandan youth. The second article aims to explore the different ways in which development agencies design and implement their programmes. »
Promoting youth employment and reducing child labour in agriculture
Published by FAO,
This online course by FAO presents strategies to strengthen the impact of child labour reduction and youth employment policies and programmes by considering the two issues together. First, it builds an understanding of the differences as well as linkages between child labour and youth employment.Then, it highlights concrete measures to improve policy and programme coherence and support for young people to access decent opportunities in agriculture. »
Youth mobility, food security and rural poverty reduction
Published by FAO,
This report describes the FAO project Youth mobility, food security and rural poverty reduction, which was successfully completed in February 2018. The Project aimed at improving the understanding of rural migration by filling evidence gaps on the determinants and impacts of migration in rural areas and at promoting better policy integration between migration, agriculture and rural development. »
The effect of land access on youth employment and migration decisions: Evidence from rural Ethiopia
Published by American Journal of Agricultural Economics,
This article explores how the amount of land that youth expects to inherit affect their migration and employment decisions using cross-sectional data of rural Ethiopia. »
Migration, youth and decent work
Published by FAO,
This online course by FAO focuses on migration, youth and decent work. Migration is an intrinsic part of rural development. Yet, there are major knowledge gaps regarding its drivers, dynamics and effects on rural areas. This e-learning will help professionals to understand the linkages between migration and rural development with a particular focus on youth. »
Building inclusive agricultural technologies for young people
Published by Mastercard Foundation,
The report by the Mastercard Foundation Youth Think Tank, investigates how well technological innovation is supported and how well technologies have reached agricultural communities in Africa. This research captures the experience of young people in the agrifood system — both those who innovate and those they design solutions for. »
Want to make agriculture attractive for Africa’s youth? More bitumen please
Published by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs,
This blog explores unconventional solutions to make agriculture "sexy" for Africa's young people. Currently, making agriculture sexy for youth is focused on increasing the profitabiltity of the sector. However, for youth it's not just about money. »
Youth migration and labour constraints in African agrarian households
Published by The Journal of Development Studies ,
This article in The Journal of Development Studies  studies how youth migration affects household labour, hired labour demand, and income, and whether these effects vary by migrant sex and destination. Panel data is used from Ethiopia and Malawi. »
Youth for growth: Transforming economies through agriculture
Published by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs,
This report provides a framework for the joint objective of global youth engagement and global food security. According to the authors, it is crucial that policymakers adopt a youth-inclusive agricultural development agenda aimed at transforming the agrifood system. »
Predicting youth participation in urban agriculture in Malaysia: insights from the theory of planned behavior and the functional approach to volunteer motivation
Published by Agriculture and Human Values Journal,
This study in the Agriculture and Human Values Journal examines factors associated with the decision of Malaysian youth to participate in a voluntary urban agriculture program. Drawing on the theories of planned behavior and the functional approach to volunteer motivation, the authors surveyed 890 students from a public university in Malaysia about their intention to join a new urban agriculture program. »
Performance of emerging dairy services agri-enterprises: A case study of youth-led service provider enterprises
Published by Wageningen Livestock Research, 3R Kenya,
This study assessed the performance of Service Provider Enterprise (SPE) to establish the extent to which the model offers business options for youth in agriculture. SPE is an innovative youth-led business model in which young men and women form groups to offer commercial support services to farmers. »
Youth involvement in agribusiness: Examples from Africa
Published by CCAFS,
This blog by The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) suggests that agribusiness can provide jobs for young people and help African countries achieve development goals. The blog highlights several successful youth-owned agribusinesses examples. It also builds on this online discussion: Engaging African Youth in Agribusiness in a Changing Climate, a platform to discuss critical issues facing African youths. »
Future of food : shaping the food system to deliver jobs
Published by World Bank,
This paper from the World Bank focuses on how the food system can deliver jobs and provides a framework for understanding the factors that determine the number and quality of jobs in the sector. The paper also highlights a set of actions that countries can adopt, adapt, and apply to their own circumstances to strengthen the food system's contribution to employment. The authors find that more can be done to strengthen the food system's contribution to jobs by supporting growth in food value chains, ensuring that policies and investments improve the quality and quantity of jobs, and facilitating the inclusion of more women and youth. »
How should youth employment programs in low-income countries be designed?
Published by USAID,
This paper outlines the economic development challenges that constrain youth’s transition into employment, and it parses the evidence on which programs and policies appear to speed that transition. It concludes that it may be time for a fundamental reassessment of approaches for addressing youth employment and the youth transition in low-income countries. »
Attracting the youth to agribusiness
Published by 2SCALE,
This insight paper provides examples of how 2SCALE tackled youth inclusion in its partnerships in Benin, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali and Nigeria. 2SCALE has been experimenting with various options to support young producers and entrepreneurs. »
Rural Africa in motion. Dynamics and drivers of migration south of the Sahara
Published by FAO & CIRAD,
This atlas offers a comprehensive analysis of the existing migration patterns as well as the diverse and multifaceted factors that impact on migration practices. Sub-Saharan Africa has a long history of internal and international migratory movements. Migration patterns and dynamics from, to and between rural areas are profoundly differentiated across regions, and flows have considerably evolved over time. Yet, more recently, rural migration takes place in the unique situation of a major rural and urban demographic increase. »
Can agriculture create job opportunities for youth?
Published by World Bank,
This blog reviews whether agriculture can provide job opportunities for youth. First, undoubtedly, the share of farming jobs is shrinking. Yet the process can only be sustained if labor productivity in farming increases, through innovation in production as well as better access to markets to sell the surplus. ICT is helping with both. »
Invisible lives: Understanding youth livelihoods in Ghana and Uganda
Published by The Mastercard Foundation,
This report creates an understanding of livelihoods, cash flows, and the nature of rural work of young people in Uganda and Ghana. It was found that young people have diverse livelihoods. Both young Ghanaians and Ugandans undertake a mix of informal sector employment, self-employment and agriculture-related activities to sustain their livelihoods.  »
Examining the non-participation of some youth in agriculture in the midst of acute unemployment in Ghana
Published by  International Journal of Modern Social Sciences,
This article sought to fill the knowledge gap by examining the puzzle of unemployed youth non-participation in agriculture in the Bawku Municipality, Ghana. Primary data was gathered from a sample of 200 unemployed youth respondents using questionnaires and from stakeholders using interview guides. »
Are prospects of rural youth employment in Africa a mirage?
Published by IPS ,
This article discusses the dismissal of productive employment of youth in rural areas in Africa as a mirage largely because they exhibit strong resistance to eking out a bare subsistence in dismal working and living conditions. The authors argue on recent evidence of agricultural transformation that this view is overly pessimistic, if not largely mistaken. »
Rural transformation, cereals and youth in Africa: What role for international agricultural research?
Published by journal Outlook on Agriculture,
This article examines the argument that the combination of agricultural value chains, technology and entrepreneurship will unlock a sweet spot for youth employment in Africa. This is done from a rural transformations perspective. »
Just farming? Neoliberal subjectivities and agricultural livelihoods among educated youth in Kenya
Published by journal Development and Change,
This article examines how and with what impacts educated youth in Kenya construct and perform new identities as farmers, distinct from the stigmatized smallholder farmers and in keeping with their status as elite, urbanized, social change makers. »
Tapping the potential of rural youth
Published by Rural 21,
This journal discusses the need for action in the area of creating employment and income opportunities for young people. Initiatives addressing these issues from a wide range of countries throughout the world are demonstrated in this issue. »
Creating opportunities for young people in Ghana’s cocoa sector
Published by Overseas Development Institute,
This paper presents young people’s experiences of growing up in Ghana’s cocoa belt, and identifies key barriers to their involvement in the sector and highlights opportunities to promote their participation in cocoa farming. Based on findings from focus group discussions with youth aged 15-25 in the cocoa-growing belt and from key informant interviews, the key issues raised are access to land, finance, and skills development, as well as perceptions of the cocoa sector, particularly among women.  »
Rural youth employment
Published by IFAD, World Bank Group,
This report was prepared as an input to discussions on rural youth employment in the G20 Development Working Group. This focus on rural youth employment is essential, since youth are more likely than adults to be unemployed and a large share of youth live in rural areas. »
Is ‘mind-set change’ the new frontier for Africa’s youth?
Published by IDS,
This expert opinion refutes the notion that the mind-set change of young people towards a more 'entrepreneurial mind-set' is the solution. First, surely it is right that we are very cautious about any analysis that defines the views, perspectives, attitudes and imagined futures of a whole generation – their mind-set – as problematic. »
Youth in agribusiness in Africa: turning knowledge into action
Published by Rural 21,
This blog highlights the potential for fostering entrepreneurship and creating role models to persuade youth not to relocate to cities. The author states that a supporting environment should be provided for young people to thrive in agriculture and agribusiness. »
Agricultural commercialisation: Where it’s hot and where it’s not
Published by IDS,
This blog scrutinizes the link between the level of commercialization of a local economy and youth inclusiveness. Greater agricultural commercialization, through engagement with value chains, is seen by many as the only viable way forward for small-scale farmers in Africa. However, how this commercialization is influencing the opportunities of rural young people is hardly investigated. »
A spatial analysis of youth livelihoods and rural transformation in Ghana
Published by IFPRI,
This policy note gives a spatial analysis of youth livelihoods and rural transformation for Ghana. It discusses the shift away from agriculture, occurring throughout rural Ghana, which is much more pronounced for youth. »
Africa’s youth employment challenge: New perspectives
Published by IDS Bulletin,
This issue of the IDS Bulletin reflects challenges to youth employment in Africa and demonstrates how political context shapes youth-related policy. It illustrates the need for critical reflection on the multiple and divergent meanings of work and highlight an urgent need to rethink interventions that promote entrepreneurship. »
Realities, perceptions, challenges and aspirations of rural youth in dryland agriculture in Morocco
Published by Sustainability,
This article analyses rural youth’s realities, perspectives and aspirations in dryland Agricultural Livelihood Systems in Morocco. According to the authors the data collected are an important first step in understanding the target group and working with youth to identify and develop appropriate programmatic interventions to improve their livelihoods and rural futures. »
Changing the norm, making agriculture “cool” for young people
Published by PDA,
This opinion paper discusses the perception of people on agriculture as a profession. Attracting the youth to agriculture requires a shift in the perception of agriculture as a subsistence activity to a viable business enterprise and also creating the enabling environment, which employs a modern approach to farming that raises productivity, making agriculture an attractive venture. »
Boosting youth employment in Africa: What works and why?
Published by INCLUDE,
This synthesis report reviews the latest knowledge on youth employment in Africa. By 2020, most new jobs will be created in informal sectors. A focus on enhancing productivity in these two currently low-productive sectors is, therefore, crucial in the short term. »
An ICT agripreneurship guide: A path to success for young ACP entrepreneurs
Published by CTA,
This practical handbook (PDF) published by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) provides a guide for young aspiring information and communication technologies (ICTs) entrepreneurs to help them set-up businesses that address challenges in the agricultural sector. Governments, private sector, non-governmental organisations, and especially young people, are increasingly viewing the intersection of ICTs and agriculture... »
Making creativity a job engine for rural Africa: Panel discussion highlights role of young entrepreneurs
Published by Rural 21 Journal,
This article describes the main messages of a panel discussion on youth employment in rural Africa. One of the important challenge for Africa will be to make the rural economy a place of opportunity for the young. According to the young Africans who attended the discussion, one of the reasons that this is not yet happening is the lack of investment. »
Innovate for agriculture: Young ICT entrepreneurs overcoming challenges and transforming agriculture
Published by CTA,
This booklet presents 20 ICT-enable entrepreneurial ventures created by young innovators form African and Carribean countries. A key message that comes out of their stories is the need for all stakeholders to develop holistic strategies that can build youth agribusiness capacities and advance this novel type of agro-entrepreneurship. »
Foresight Africa viewpoint: Science and the farm
Published by Brookings Institution,
This blog argues that Africa’s youth employment issue is fundamentally one of agricultural modernization and investment in science. More youths remain on farms than leave, although the movement away is very visible and has raised concern about food security, aging of the countryside, and excessive dependence on food imports. Concerns would be best directed toward understanding the needs of young people who stay on farms. »
Addressing rural youth migration at its root causes: A conceptual framework
Published by FAO,
This paper by FAO develops a conceptual framework about how agricultural and rural development policies can reduce the need for distress migration of rural youth; and how rural youth migration and remittances can contribute to sustainable agriculture and rural development, poverty reduction and food security in the areas of origin. »
Equipping young people to make a change in agriculture
Published by YPARD,
This YPARD report provides one of the first comprehensive explorations of the impact mentoring can have both on young and senior agricultural professionals. A diversity of mentoring models were studied and in early 2015, YPARD decided that to understand how mentoring can best benefit its diverse global network, a number of different approaches to mentoring should be piloted - namely face to face, virtual, blended and group/peer mentoring. This report explores the outcomes, strengths and limitations of each approach. »
Unlocking the potential of non-farm enterprises to reduce rural unemployment in Ghana
Published by IDS,
This policy briefing by IDS highlights the role of non-farm enterprise sector in the rural economy in Ghana. Non-farm enterprises have been viewed as one of the surest ways of reducing rural youth unemployment in the country. However, despite their potential, limited understanding of the diverse nature of the non-farm enterprise sector has led to policies that do not fully exploit its potential to reduce rural unemployment in Ghana. »
Agricultural value chains and their potential for youth employment in fragile and conflict-affected contexts
Published by ECDPM,
This GREAT Insights Magazine edition of February/March 2017 has a thematic focus on youth employment in fragile countries. It brings together a range of perspectives on the pressing question of how better to promote youth employment in fragile and conflict-affected countries. Agriculture is mentioned as one of the most promising sectors in most fragile and conflict-affected environments. »
Increasing youth participation in livestock production in Kenya
Published by IDS,
This policy briefing by IDS focuses on the increasing of youth participation in livestock production in Kenya. Agriculture is a primary source of employment in Kenya. Most employment takes the form of smallholder crop and livestock farming, either as a main or supplementary livelihood activity. In recent years, youth have been found to prefer employment in non-farm livelihood activities to farming. »
Addressing the challenges faced by rural youth aged 15 to 17 in preparing for and accessing decent work
Published by FAO,
This meeting report features the results of the expert meeting on Addressing the Challenges Faced by Rural Youth Aged 15-17 in Preparing for and Accessing Decent Work in 2016. The expert meeting contributed to the identification of feasible and effective policies and actions to enable rural youth in this age group to prepare for and access decent work. »
Learning and entrepreneurship in the agricultural sector: building social entrepreneurial capabilities in young farmers
Published by International Journal of Work Innovation,
This paper explores the learning mechanisms intended to develop new knowledge and capabilities that are expressed in the adoption of entrepreneurial behaviour by young farmers. It highlights public programs that promote the improvement of the technical and productive conditions of the agriculture sector in Mexico through organisations such as Produce Foundation Puebla (FUPPUE). »
The effect of land inheritance on youth employment and migration decisions
Published by IFPRI,
This discussion paper explores how the amount of land youth expect to inherit affects their migration and employment decisions in rural Ethiopia. By using panel data from 2010 and 2014 it is found that larger expected land inheritance significantly lowers the likelihood of long-distance permanent migration and of permanent migration to urban areas. »
Failing young people? Addressing the supply-side bias and individualisation in youth employment programming
Published by IDS,
This report by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), problematises and critiques some of the currently predominant models for getting young people into work. Examining the current state of play of donor policies, the report critiques the supply-side bias built into the majority of approaches, and aims to advance an understanding of the demand-side and structural constraints. »
Structural transformation to boost youth labour demand in sub-Saharan Africa: The role of agriculture, rural areas and territorial development
Published by ILO,
This paper by the International Labour Organization (ILO), explores the opportunities that economic diversification offers to foster structural transformation in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) while absorbing the growing youth labour force and providing them with the requisite skills. The paper focuses on structural transformation and the identification of possible building blocks for boosting youth employment in SSA. »
Smallholder rural youth farming in Kiambu County, Kenya
Published by Journal of Culture, Society and Development,
This study in the Journal of Culture, Society and Development aimed at highlighting age, gender participation and the role of literacy in small scale farming among the trained youth in Kiambu County, Kenya. »
Farming for the Future: three ways to rethink youth livelihoods in the agriculture sector
Published by Rhodes Trust,
In this blog, Grace Mwaura questions the nature of livelihood opportunities that young people are being encouraged to pursue and their implications for the future. She highlights three key issues around the narrative of enticing young people into agriculture: the ecological footprint, the markets, and the policy incentives. »
Young people and agriculture in Africa: A review of research evidence and EU documentation
Published by IDS,
This report by IDS presents the results of a desk-based study to assess the available research evidence in relation to African young people's engagement with agriculture, and to analyse how this evidence is reflected in current European Union (EU) policy and programming in Malawi, Ethiopia and Kenya, three of the 89 countries in which Alliance2015 members work. »
Agrifood youth employment and engagement study
Published by Michigan State University,
This report by the Michigan State University examines the potential of Sub-Saharan Africa’s agrifood systems to provide new jobs for unemployed, underemployed and disadvantaged youth, and identifies constraints affecting the capacity of youth to take up these economic opportunities. According to the report, Sub-Saharan Africa’s agricultural sector is rapidly changing and can be a key driver of youth employment and economic transformation. »
Assessing the future of agriculture in the hands of rural youth in Nigeria
Published by International Journal of Agricultural Extension,
This study in the International Journal of Agricultural Extension examined the perception of rural youths toward Agriculture as a profession in Nigeria. Data for the study were obtained through interview and structured questionnaires administered to one hundred and twenty respondents. »
Can better technology lure Asia’s youth back to farming
Published by IPS,
Farming and agriculture may not seem cool to young people, but if they can learn the thrill of nurturing plants to produce food, and are provided with their favourite apps and communications software on agriculture, food insecurity will not be an issue, food and agriculture experts said during the Asian Development Bank (ADB)’s Food Security Forum from June 22 to 24 at the ADB headquarters here. »
Effects of rural-urban youth migration on farm families in Benue state, Nigeria
Published by International Journal of Agricultural Research,
The study in the International Journal of Agricultural Research, Innovation and Technology aimed to determine the effects of rural-urban youth migration on farm families in Benue state, Nigeria. The study recommends that Nigerian government should provide adequate physical and social infrastructure in rural areas in order to encourage youths to remain in agriculture, reduce rural-urban youth migration as well as sustain agriculture for enhanced food security. »
Africa’s structural challenges can’t be solved by “youth innovation”
Published by IDS,
In this blog, IDS experts challenge the current discourse around youth employment challenge in sub-Saharan Africa, as it is commonly stated that young people are innovative, and in some respects, more innovative than older people. »
Agricultural transformation and agribusiness in Africa: how can jobs for women and youth be created?
Published by INCLUDE Platform,
In preparation for a side-event on the African Development Bank (ADB) annual meetings, the INCLUDE Platform launched a series of one pagers on Africa’s agricultural transformation and how it can be made inclusive for women and youth. This one pager introduces the concepts of agricultural transformation and agribusiness and identifies the key challenges in making both inclusive. The series of one pagers assess how an inclusiveness lens can best be applied. It does so in the form of four briefs on the most pressing issues of inclusive agribusiness. »
Should we stop talking about “youth”?
Published by IDS,
Youth and young people are becoming a hot topic among development donors and actors. But who exactly do these "labels" apply to, and are they too broad for effective policies? Or do they create too narrow a focus which is blind to larger structural issues? »
Determinants of changes in youth and women agricultural labor participation in selected African countries
Published by Eugenie W. H. Maiga,
This paper investigates the determinants of changes in youth and women participation in agriculture by using data from the Living Standards Measurement Surveys-Integrated Surveys of Agriculture (LSMS-ISA). Participation in the agricultural labor force is measured using hours per week in agriculture and change in hours worked per week in agriculture between two survey waves for Nigeria and Uganda. »
Innovative and inclusive finance for youth in agriculture
Published by CTA,
This chapter “Innovative and inclusive finance for youth in agriculture", was contributed by CTA as part of the 2015 Africa Agriculture Status Report. This chapter focused on analysing youth access to credit, savings, insurance or other forms of financing to promote their entrepreneurship drive. It starts with a brief review of the challenges preventing young agripreneurs from accessing needed finance. It went further to assess the current state of financing available to youth in agriculture, observing that financing youth in agriculture is already happening. Authors summarized their analyses and recommendations into five key points. »
Delving deeper into the agricultural transformation and youth employment nexus: The Nigerian case
Published by IFPRI,
This working paper by IFPRI aims to critically analyze the youth unemployment situation in sub-Saharan Africa as a whole and in Nigeria in particular and to delve deeper into the potential that agriculture has for job creation for youth. In Section 2 the authors provide an overview of the youth unemployment situation globally and in Africa, followed in Section 3 by a review of the literature on the role agriculture plays in job creation. In Section 4, the dynamics of unemployment and job creation in Nigeria are reviewed. In Section 5 recent initiatives in Nigeria on this front are discussed. »
Innovate for agriculture: Young ICT entrepreneurs overcoming challenges and transforming agriculture
Published by CTA,
This report from CTA demonstrates how young agro-entrepreneurs across the developing world are tackling some of the value chain’s most substantial challenges through using information communication technologies (ICT). The authors argue that when it comes to building a more efficient and equitable value chain, the potential impact of ICTs is more than incremental; it is catalytic. One reason for this is that through having better access to information, farmers can save time and faster access the information they need to support their work. »
Is agriculture the answer to the Africa youth unemployment challenge?
Published by IDS & Young Africa Works Summit,
Is agriculture the sector of opportunity for youth in sub-Saharan Africa? That was the question that was asked as part of a debate for the Mastercard Young Africa Works Summit in November 2015. Dr. Nteranya Sanginga – Director General International Institute of Tropical Agriculture and Jim Sumberg from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), highlighted the pro's and cons of this debate. Jim Sumberg presented four reasons to be cautious. »
Unleashing potential: gender and youth inclusive agri-food chains
Published by KIT & SNV,
SNV Netherlands Development Organisation and the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) have partnered to address youth- and gender-inclusive value chain development. This working paper provides a basis for SNV-KIT collaboration on gender and youth inclusive value chain development as well as offering inspiration and food for thought to others engaging on these issues. The paper looks at the changing ‘who’ in agriculture and challenges related to inclusive agricultural value chain development. »
Youth employment in sub-Saharan Africa: Taking stock of the evidence and knowledge gaps
Published by IDRC,
The paper provides an overview of the youth employment challenge in sub-Saharan Africa. It gives context on the overall economic and employment climate in the region, and takes stock of what is known — and not known — about youth employment specifically. It summarizes existing interventions to expand employment and livelihood opportunities for African youth, and identifies research that could address policy-relevant knowledge gaps. »
A future in coffee: Growing a new generation of coffee professionals
Published by Hivos,
A new generation of coffee professionals is urgently needed. Over the last decade, organisations in various parts of the world have launched projects to increase the number of youth involved in the coffee sector. These projects provide clear insights that can be applied in many other sectors and can potentially transform the coffee production sector. This publication by Hivos summarizes 5 case studies worldwide on good practices how to involve youth in the coffee sector, and comes up with successful strategies that attracted young people back to the coffee sector. »
Youth employment in Sub-Saharan Africa: Challenges, constraints and opportunities
Published by Journal of African Economies,
This article provides an overview and analysis of youth employment in Sub-Saharan Africa. While many refer to the youth employment problem as the ‘youth unemployment problem’, unemployment is not high in low-income sub-Saharan Africa (3%) or in middle-income countries outside of Southern Africa. Since jobs remain elusive in the formal wage sector, youth have found innovative ways to express and exploit their talents and capabilities in the agriculture and household enterprises (informal sector). »
Africa’s got work to do: A diagnostic of youth employment challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa
Published by Journal of African Economies,
This article provides a macroeconomics analysis of the youth employment problem in the low and lower middle income countries of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). While concerns about youth employment are often voiced, the discussions tends to lack context due to the absence of labor market data and analysis. This article tries to reduce this gap through analyzing macroeconomic changes and indicators in SSA. »
Youth in agribusiness within an African agricultural transformation agenda
Published by IITA, CTA & ILO,
The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) & The International Labour Organizattion (ILO) prepared a background paper for the Feeding Africa conference of October 2015. The paper highlights several challenges and opportunities in involving youth in agribusiness. The authors stimulate the development of a special program to promote youth in agribusiness. »
Looking for greener pastures: African youth and their future jobs
Published by INCLUDE platform,
In this blog post on the INCLUDE platform, Marije Balt from Springfactor elaborates on youth moving to urban areas and explores programmes and plans of donors to invest in job creation in Africa’s largest sector, agriculture. The blog highlights a number of obstacles faced by young people wishing to engage in agriculture, such as the stigma surrounding agriculture as a lifestyle and source of livelihood, restricted access to land, irrelevant education, inability to handle risk and poor access to finance. Comprehensive approaches are needed, both in rural and urban areas, in agriculture and other sectors, whuch can help youth in Africa find decent work and stop looking for the proverbial greener pastures elsewhere, Balt concludes. »
The future of youth in agricultural value chains in Ethiopia and Kenya
Published by Fair & Sustainable, Wageningen University, AgriProFocus,
This report elaborates on how increased youth involvement in the agricultural value chain can improve food security and diminish youth unemployment. The study assesses where in the farming systems and the agricultural value chain youth is present and tries to understand the perspectives of youth towards agriculture. The study identifies the conditions that influence the involvement of male and female youth in maize and potato value chains in Ethiopia and Kenya. »
Youth in livestock production: Key to the actualization of the agricultural transformation agenda
Published by The Journal of Animal Production Research,
This article elaborates on the involvement of youth in livestock production as key to the actualization of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) in Nigeria. It scrutinizes the socio-economic role of livestock, the state of Nigerians livestock industry, youth involvement in livestock production and the constraints young people face to get involved in livestock production. The authors provide solutions to ensure the active participation of youth in livestock production. »
Toward solutions for youth employment: A 2015 baseline report
Published by Solutions for Youth Employment,
The is a report by Solutions for Youth Employment (S4YE), a multistakeholder global coalition established to improve youth access to work opportunities. It is intended to set a baseline for youth employment trends, research and analysis, actions, and knowledge in line with S4YE's agenda and comparative advantage. The report highlights that agriculture remains the dominant source of youth employment. »
Addressing Africa’s youth employment and food security crisis: The role of African agriculture in job creation
Published by The African Capacity Building Foundation,
In this interview the former president of Nigeria discusses the critical factors responsible for food insecurity and youth unemployment in sub-Saharan Africa. He argues that there are numerous actions that governments could take to address obstacles for youth to get involved in agriculture. He believes that removing these obstacles can prevent both massive youth unemployment and food insecurity in Africa. »
Youth employment and agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa
Published by INCLUDE platform,
This expert opinion of David Suttie on the INCLUDE Knowledge Platform, highlights the role that agriculture can play in tackling the youth unemployment challenge in Sub-Saharan Africa. Suttie states that integrating the dynamism, energy and innovative potential of youth in agriculture is crucial to increase agricultural productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa, to meet the food and nutrition needs of its population, and to increase the competitiveness of African food markets. »
Developing the knowledge, skills and talent of youth to further food security and nutrition
Published by CFS; FAO; IFAD and WFP,
This report by CFS; FAO; IFAD and WFP (PDF) provides case studies from different regions, that set out the challenges, successes and lessons learned relating to the development of knowledge, skills and capacity for youth in agriculture. The case studies cover the areas of peer-to-peer knowledge transfer, vocational training and skills development, and education systems and research. »
How to enhance youth employment in Africa
Published by CNBC Africa,
This short movie on CNBC Africa focuses on how to enhance youth employment in Tanzania. Agriculture is a very important job creator in Tanzania, which has an unemployment rate of around 12 per cent. However youth unemployment is much higher and this applies to most of the continent. CNBC Africa’s Thomas Maree spoke to Awadh Milasi... »
Agricultural science can speed job creation for youth in Africa South of the Sahara
Published by INCLUDE platform,
This expert opinion written by Karen Brooks, Director of the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets and published on the INCLUDE Knowledge Platform on inclusieve development policies, focuses on the role of agricultural science for job creation in Africa. ccording to Brooks, removing or reducing current barriers will attract more young people to agricultural careers and help those already farming to do so more successfully. »
Enhancing youth engagement in agricultural careers
Published by Cabi,
This blog by Cabi, explores what can and is being done already to improve employment opportunities for youth in rural areas, particularly in the agricultural sector. The blog highlights greater investment, education, working conditions, governance and social media. »
Africa agriculture status report: youth in agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa
Published by AGRA,
This report highlights the current status of youth in sub-Saharan Africa and present the opportunities and potential that the region’s ‘youth bulge’ and ‘youthening’ generation brings to agriculture. »
Are the youth exiting agriculture en masse?
Published by Eugenie Maïga, Luc Christiaensen, and Amparo Palacios-Lopez,
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). »
Youth in agriculture: Inspiring stories of young people changing agriculture
Published by Journal of Gender, Agriculture, and Food Security,
This blog from the Journal of Gender, Agriculture, and Food Security, highlights some succes stories of young agriculture entrepreneurs. Significant challenges remain in realizing the full potential of Africa’s agriculture: access to finance, land rights, and women’s empowerment are just some of the critical issues to address. »
Premise of progress – Building human and social capital for Africa’s agricultural success
Published by Agriculture for Impact,
This blog by Katrin Glatzel on Agriculture for impact highlights the challenges of youth engagement in Africa's agriculture. Glatzel recommends socio-economic intensification, the integration of innovations and practices from the fields of ecology, genetics and socio-economics to build environmentally sustainable, equitable, productive and resilient ecosystems, to improve the well-being of farms, farmers and their families. »
African youth and the persistence of marginalization: Employment, politics, and prospects for change
Published by Routledge,
This book by Routledge critically examines the extent and consequences of the marginalization of African youth. It questions conventional wisdoms about data trends, aspirational goals, and common policy interventions surrounding Africa’s youth that have been variously propagated in both the development studies literature and in mainstream donor policy reports. »
Life stories of African women and young professionals in science
Published by CTA,
This booklet by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), takes a look at the life stories of 12 remarkable African agricultural scientists who are making a difference on the continent and internationally. »
Youth, conservation agriculture and sustainable development – Engagement insights from Africa
Published by Lambert Academic Publishing,
This book aims to stimulate critical dialogue and resolve among readers on truly engaging youth in agricultural transformation. In using Zimbabwe, as the anchorage, the book, holistically scans the nation’s landscape – food and nutrition security, climate change and variability, and the post-2015 development agenda, for examples of innovative thinking, leadership, and action, in youth engagement, and thus, catapults local futuristic-thinking youths to the global stage. »
Perspectives on jobs and farming: Findings from a Q study with young people, parents and development workers in rural Ghana
Published by Future agricultures,
This paper by Future Agricultures aimed to explore in a systematic way the perspectives of rural young people, their parents and development officials on a series of questions relating to work in general and agriculture in particular. The study presents the results of a series of Q Methodology studies with secondary students and parents in Ghana, and with development officials. »
Report of national youth forum on agro-based entrepreneurship development
Published by YPARD,
This report covers a summary of the workshop entitled, “National Youth Forum on Agro-based Entrepreneurship Development, which was held in Lalitpur, Nepal on 9th-10th January 2015. This workshop was organized with the support of YPARD, YPARD Asia, MCRC and NFYN. »
Rural radio and community media: Empowering rural youth to build resilient livelihoods and improve food security and nutrition
Published by Global Forum FNS,
This report (PDF) by the Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition in West Africa of FAO, in collaboration with UNESCO, is a result of an online discussion on rural radio and community media, organized in February 2015. This initiative aimed to contribute to current debates about the challenges and opportunities of the role that rural radio and community media can have to young people to improve the resilience and food security in West Africa. »
Youth sustaining family farming through ICTs
Published by CTA,
This report is the result of an e-debate of three weeks on "Youth sustaining family farming through ICTs", organised by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), in collaboration with the African Youth Foundation (AYF), in October 2014. »
Youth and agriculture: key challenges and concrete solutions
Published by CTA, FAO & IFAD,
This report (PDF) has been published by FAO, The Youth and United Nations Global Alliance (YUNGA), the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The document builds on results of the project “Facilitating Access to Rural Youth to Agricultural Activities” undertaken by FAO/IFAD/MIJARC, as well as on CTA youth activities. »
Effect of farm succession on coffee production in Kenya
Published by International Journal of Agricultural Extension,
Coffee farmers in Kenya are elderly (average 55 years), and reluctant to release coffee farms to the new generation, leading to reduced adoption of new technologies and reduced coffee production despite its profitability and opportunity of expansion. The objective of the research study was to establish the effect of farm succession on coffee production in Kisii County. »
Young people, agriculture, and employment in rural Africa
Published by UNU-WIDER,
This paper (PDF) by UNU-WIDER examines the current interest in addressing the problem of young people’s unemployment in Africa through agriculture. It aims to address what role policy and associated programmes and projects can play in re-aligning rural young people’s engagement with agriculture. By use of two overarching concepts, transition and mobility, a conceptual framework is introduced that could be used as a lens for the analysis of policies, programmes and projects involving young people and agriculture in Africa. »
Who wants to farm? Youth aspirations, opportunities and rising food prices
Published by IDS,
This publication (PDF) by IDS explores conditions favourable for active engagement of educated young people into farming in a context of food price volatility, and in particular rising food prices since 2007. Based on analysis of interviews, focus group discussion and household case studies with almost 1500 people in 23 rural, urban and peri-urban communities in low and middle income Asian, African and Latin American countries in 2012, this research digs deeper into some of the established explanations as to why youth in developing countries appear reluctant to enter farming. »
Livestock entrepreneurship as an emerging self-employment option for university graduates in Ethiopia: Overview of concerns and potentials for growth
Published by IISTE,
This paper (PDF) in the European Journal of Business and Management, compiles and synthesizes existing and emerging knowledge on major aspects of livestock enterprises and support services including practical skills and information needs among self-employed graduates. Implications for further investigation and interventions and informing institutional policies development on livestock enterprises as a growing employment option are also highlighted. »
Netherlands Food Partnership

The F&BKP is continuing in Netherlands Food Partnership: find more knowledge & expertise at the NFP website.