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  • 1. Youth, Agriculture and RuralDevelopment in Developing countries/ACP regions John Omiti Nancy Laibuni Simon Githuku jmomiti@kippra.or.ke 1
  • 2. Definition of Youth Age (15-35 years) Differences across regions – Political Importance [‘leaders of tomorrow’] – Cultural aspects (Gender, Marriage) – Unemployment // Wealth Gaps – Emerging issues (ICT, Migration) 2
  • 3. African Youth - Demographics Large share of youth in population (youth bulge) 70 % is aged below 25 years (200 million) 37% of the total labor force Youth unemployment rate (2009) - North Africa ≈ 24 % - Sub-Saharan Africa ≈ 50-60? Unskilled youth = (25 - 50 %) 3
  • 4. Caribbean Youth - Demographics 10% 50% 20 - 25 yrs 40% 18 - 20 yrs 25 - 30 yrs 50% Literacy levels: 1990 ≈ 92%; 2009 ≈ 97% Unemployment ≈ 40 - 60% (except Barbados) 20 - 30% of the labour force 4
  • 5. Pacific Youth - Demographics 20% of working population Youth unemployment high:  Kiribati ≈ 39%  Samoa ≈ 58%  Solomon Islands ≈ 42 %  Tonga ≈ 43 % 5
  • 6. Key Issues Rural poverty Migration of the youth:  Urban areas  Overseas (OECD) High levels of unemployment/underemployment Deferred plans [e.g., investments, marriage] Ageing farm populations [future of agriculture] Youth bulge (social unrest) 6
  • 7. Youth are key agents Social change  Access to higher and innovative education  Culture (music, arts, etc) Economic development  Broad range of opportunities  Access to physical and financial resources Technological innovation  dynamic conditions to incubate ideas and innovate Political Change 7
  • 8. Involving Youth in Agriculture Africa  Average age of farmer ≈ 55 years  Average life expectancy ≈ 49-54 years Caribbean  Average age of farmers ≈ 55 years  Average life expectancy ≈ 65-70 years 8
  • 9. Why interest youth in Agriculture Public Perceptions [‘grow own food’] Self Reliance and Self Sufficiency Building Human Resource Base Political goodwill and Investments 9
  • 10. Youth perceptions towards Agriculture Generally negative youth perceptions withrespect to participation in agriculture• Not perceived as a viable business initiative• Employer of last resort (urban-rural youth)• Not an attractive career path• offers no opportunity for a better life• Not appealing - no prestige (status) regardless of the economic outcomes.
  • 11. Youth and ICT ICT is attractive to the youth ICT applications (software) – forecast e.g. weather patterns, precision farming, etc. Managing agricultural information data- creating agricultural databases, payment systems, marketing, price trends, satellite- based insurance, etc. ICT is dynamic and challenging 11
  • 12. Youth and Agribusiness – value chain Factors that limit youth participation in agribusiness:  Limited market information  Inability to access credit  Inadequate training  Skills mis-match  Low profitability associated with agri- enterprises 12
  • 13. Ways to engage youth in agriculture • Demystifying the negative myths about agriculture • Presenting agriculture as a profitable venture • Availing special agriculture funding for youth • Providing incentives to young people engaged in agriculture • Preferential treatment for young farmers e.g. water levy, taxation laxity • Availing fair market opportunities for youth • Modernizing agriculture • Providing training opportunities in new technologies
  • 14. Ways to engage youth in agriculture• Recognition and supporting young graduates as potential employees within the agribusiness sector• Support youth in establishing and managing a youth network in agriculture• Include youth in policy decision making and implementation• Agriculture in Education system since primary level
  • 15. Policy Suggestions Employment  Employability  Addressing Technical Skills Mis-matches  Addressing Non-Technical Skills Mismatches (skills development)  Employment Creation: Address slow job/career growth  Equal Opportunities: Addressing youth-discrimination / deficiencies in the labour market and Inadequate Job Matching Facilitating Entrepreneurship  Business Development Services (BDS) + Futures Markets 15
  • 16. Policy Suggestions Agri-Business Innovations  Package technology for young farmers  Green house farming  Grafting of fruits / vegetables  Use integrated and multifunctional business approach  Targets young farmers  Use Mobile phones for recordings, management, etc 16
  • 17. ..Young Original Unique Talented Hopeful. our YOUTH Thank You! 17