Employment for the future

Can more young people in Africa, Asia, and Latin America enter the agricultural workforce through better skills training?

Photo: USAID.

Everywhere, young people want to leave the land to find economic opportunities. The average age of farmers is rising globally, and in richer countries that average is not much different than the average age for retirement. Rural areas often suffer from poorer services and infrastructure of all kinds—reliable access to electricity and the Internet, and high-quality education and health services.

This places many developing countries, and especially many African countries, in a bind. With populations that are young and growing, they need robust agricultural sectors to feed their people, reduce poverty, and provide the income and productivity to generate the kind of structural transformation that will benefit urban areas. History has shown that as farmers become more productive, economies become more competitive and create skilled jobs outside of agriculture. But this process is not inevitable—and it will not happen if young people abandon farming.

This evidence synthesis looks at whether skills training can help young people enter and stay in the agricultural sector, not only as farmers, but in a range of businesses that can support a thriving food economy.

Research team

Eugenie Maiga

Eugenie Maiga

Lead author, Associate Professor, Norbert Zongo University

Biography

Cocou Jaurès Amegnaglo

Cocou Jaurès Amegnaglo

Professor of Economics, University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin

Biography

Gracian Chimwaza

Gracian Chimwaza

Executive Director, Information Training & Outreach Centre for Africa

Biography

Doubahan Adeline Coulibaly

Doubahan Adeline Coulibaly

Lecturer in Economics, University of Koudougou

Biography

Justin Flynn

Justin Flynn

Research Officer, Institute of Development Studies

Biography

Olawale Ismail

Olawale Ismail

Head of Research, International Alert

Biography

Julie Kelly

Julie Kelly

Science librarian, Magrath Library, University of Minnesota

Biography

Mohamed Porgo

Mohamed Porgo

Lecturer, University of Ouaga II

Biography

Windinkonte Seogo

Windinkonte Seogo

Lecturer, Polytechnic University Center of Kaya

Biography

Salimata Traore

Salimata Traore

Assistant Professor, Economics, University of Ouaga II

Biography

Pam Zahonogo

Pam Zahonogo

Professor of Economics at the University of Ouaga II

Biography

Research protocol

 

The full details of the the protocol for this evidence synthesis are available on the OSF open platform run by the Center for Open Science.

 

This is one of eight evidence syntheses selected by Ceres2030 to help decision-makers choose the best interventions to achieve the UN's Sustainability Development Goal of "Zero Hunger" by 2030 (SDG 2).

Ceres 2030 is a partnership between Cornell IP-CALS,  the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and the  International Institute of Sustainable Development (IISD)