Agri-food sector, education andoccupation choice of young people in Ethiopia Tassew Woldehanna, School of Economics, AAU, Ethiopia
Motivation• Agriculture has been stagnant in Ethiopia and education may not be important (schulz , 1960)• Recently growing high value food such as vegetables, milk, oil crops increased – supply for export , urban consumers• On the other hand, enrolment increased and almost all young people are educated• Land size is very limited and young may not have access to land and are credit constrained to lease in land
Objective of the study• The objectives of this paper is therefore – Role of education in livelihood diversification (occupational choices) – Role of education in relative attractiveness of young people to farm versus non-farm activities, especially for agri-food sector• Are young attracted to modern agri-food sector?• Is education adequately preparing young people for employment in the agri-food sectors?
Data and method• I used both qualitative and quantitative data• Multinomial logit model of diversification in to wage employ. and non-farm business activities using ERHS (1994-2009) 1600 farm households• Mulinomial logit models of occupation choice using Welfare Monitoring Survey (2011) –more than 114 thousand of individuals age 15 and above• Key informant interview with woreda administrator, DA, youth and FGD with youth in 6 selected rural areas
Results and discussion• Education plays a role Livelihood diversification – The more educated a farmers (HH head) is the higher likelihood of diversifying into non-farm business activities – When a household has more educated people in the household, the higher likelihood of diversification into wage employment• Education play role in occupation choice – Positive association between non-farm occupation on one hands and primary education , secondary education and TVET training on the other hands
Results and discussion• But negative association with employment in agri- food sector• Ownership of land and assets is positively associated with employment in agri-food sector and negatively associated with employment in non-farm employment as opposed to employment in subsistence agriculture• Rich households (+)• Youth (-), Female (-)
Marginal effects on occupation choice (mlogit): base subsistence agr. skilled agriculture non-farm Explanatory variables employment dy/dx P-value dy/dx P-valueYouth dummy (age 18 to 30 years) -0.180 0.000 0.002 0.653Dummy for primary education level -0.067 0.000 0.033 0.000Dummy for secondary education level primary -0.142 0.000 0.067 0.000educationDummy for technical training completed -0.334 0.000 0.281 0.000Dummy for non-technical training after high -0.196 0.074 0.294 0.000schoolDummy for Informal adult and altern. basic educ. 0.054 0.017 0.021 0.189Female dummy -0.405 0.000 0.063 0.000Family size -0.020 0.000 0.002 0.083Dummy for owning land 0.039 0.001 -0.056 0.000Dummy for owning cattle 0.025 0.000 -0.047 0.000Real per capita cons. Expend. in 1000 Birr /year -0.001 0.530 0.006 0.000
Results and discussion• In all the qualitative sites, it very hard to find un- education youth (15-30]• In WMS (2011) a nationally representative data- more than 50% of the youth are educated - at least they have primary education level• Overall in 6 qualitative sites most of the youth have finished at least 10th grade• Obviously Youth are much better educated than their parents
Results and discussion• Parents and community as a whole prefer young to be employed in private or government offices than working in agriculture• The same are for the youth• land size is too small to cover the yearly consumption of the households and the household members have to engage in different nonfarm activities to fill the income gap• In shahsheme area, exceptionally, many of the female youth migrate to Arab countries
Results and discussion• In one of our coffee growing qualitative site, both educated and uneducated involve in coffee picking and processing activities• In the rest of the farm activities, only uneducated youth participate, but not educated• To engage the educated young in agri-food sector, one condition is return should be sufficiently high• In the less favourable area (two qual sites in Amahar and Tigray), the youth prefer government employment
Results and discussion• Youth prefer urban life style because they consider agriculture as backward and non-profitable livelihood option• Quotes from a parent and a college graduate youth “Why do I spent this much if he is to be a farmer” “Is it to cultivate land that I went and graduated from college?
Results and discussion:• Every body agrees that agri-business activities are carried out better when it is done by educated young than when done by educated people• However, young do not have access to land, espeacially in Amhara and Tigray• hence many agri-food sectors’s activities are done by uneducated farmers• In some places like Debrezit and shasheme, growing vegetables, cattle fattening are profitable and this has motivated the educated youth and even the civil servants
Results and discussion• Educated youth are interested now a days to work in the agri- food sector, but dot they do not have access to land and credit because of collateral requirement to borrow and lease land A quote from a youth in Adigrat area “….So knowledge without resource is useless and we consider ourselves as useless part of the society since we do not have the resource even though we have better knowledge about agriculture”
Results and discussion: Training• The GTP itself states that education in Ethiopia focuses on training of people for the manufacturing (industrial sector), not for agriculture anymore• Training institutions: farmers’ training centres, colleges and TVET centres (including few agricultural colleges)• Farmers straining centres are not well equipped and failed to provide appropriate training for farmers
Results and discussion: Training• Farmers also obtain training from extension agents who are graduates of TVET centres, – but in many instances, farmers and officials believe that the Extension Agents do not have better knowledge of agriculture than the farmers• Curriculum in primary and secondary education fails to provide agriculture as a course and hence there is not way young can learn and appreciate the importance of agriculture
Conclusions• Youth do not want to be a farmers as farming is considered as backward sector• Youth want to have an urban life style (that is what the education system tells them)• Image of agriculture has to be changed• Agriculture (agri-food sector) could perform better if it involve the educated young• Improve training system In agriculture: curriculum, appropriate training,• Access to land and finance for the educated youth