Rietveld Targeting young adults young households in Central Uganda - where is the next generation of farmers
Anne Rietveld, Sam Mpiira and Charles StaverTargeting young adults/ young households in Central Uganda: Where is the next generation of farmers?
Context• Agriculture employs over 60% of Ugandan population• Agricultural output mainly from smallholder farmers• Banana are primary source for food and income: average per capita consumption 256 kg/person/year
Problem statementCase of Central Uganda:Maintaining or expanding banana productivity is difficultbecause of soil fertility decline and built up of pests anddiseasesPotential solution:Could on-farm trees and shrubs be used as a source ofmulch for the bananas and fodder for zero-grazing livestockto improve banana productivity?
ProjectWe proposed a focus on young households and youth (18-35 years) as potential users of the proposed new technology• Maximum return to investment• Alternative to out-migration and urban poverty• Land-saving technology interesting for youth with few resourcesBUT Household heads in baseline have an average age of 46.5 years
Where are the young adults and young households in our pilot sites?• Young households and young adults hidden in parents households• Young households have livelihood strategies to accumulate capital off farm before returning when inherited land becomes available or resources are accumulated for land purchase and investment in agriculture• Young people are present in the pilot sites and possibly involved and interested in agriculture-based livelihoods but we were not able to reach them because of bias / partner interests or similar• Young households and young adults are little interested in agriculture and are working in local towns and larger urban areas
Methodology• Three sites in Central Uganda selected (Nakaseke, Sembabule and Kiboga)• Baseline study – survey farming households in pilot sites – on age, land, labor, social capital, sources of income and use of trees, shrubs, manure and mulch – N = 203• Tracking young adults – surveying participants of farmer experimentation groups about their adult children – On residence, occupation, reasons for leaving or staying, contributions to farm labor and future expectations – N = 56
Hypothesis 11. Young households and young adults are hidden in parents households• 13% of all household members in baseline study is between 20 and 35 years old whereas this is 22% on national level• Only 15% of adult children in study are living with parents
Hypothesis 22. Young households have livelihood strategies toaccumulate capital off farm before returning when inheritedland becomes available or resources are accumulated forland purchase and investment in agriculture•75% of adult children work outside agriculture•1/3 of adult children own land, independent of residence•Many parents expect their children to return one day tothe village
Hypothesis 33. Young households are present in the pilot sites and areinvolved in agriculture, but we were not able to reach them• A significant bias is unlikely• Even if a bias could (partly) explain for the high averageage of household heads in the baseline, most of the adultchildren of these households heads have left the village andare not working in agriculture
Hypothesis 44. Young households and young adults are little interestedin agriculture and are working in local towns and largerurban areas insteadResidence adult children PercentageKampala-city 38.5%Regional towns 24.7%Parental village 21.8%Compound parents 14.9%• Only 27% employed by agriculture• Out-migration of young people does not necessarily needto rule out their participation in farm work
Discussion• With average HH size of 10 and average land holdings of5.3 acres children will not inherit sufficient land for viablefarming livelihoods• Large differences between pilot sites with regards to out-migration, land-ownership and parent’s expectationsregarding return• The degree in which young people migrate seems to berelated to distance to urban centre(s) and economic(farming) opportunity in the locality• Often the driver for urbanization is not (only) the ‘questfor economic opportunity’ but ‘a cultural preference’ forurban life (Beuvink 2010)
ConclusionYoung rural people don’t have much interest in investing in agriculture nor do they have the capacities and opportunities to do soYoung people see more future in migrating to urban areasMigration is not necessarily permanent, many young people frequent their parents’ compound to help out with farming activities, indicating that links with agriculture remain even after out-migration