167 views | Akanimo Sampson | December 24, 2020
A study by an awardee of International Institute of Tropical Agriculture’s (IITA) CARE Project is emphasizing the need to address insecurity in the North-East and North-West regions of Nigeria.
The awardee, Adedotun Seyingbo, who carried out a study to understand the pattern of youth transition between farm and non-farm jobs, also suggest promoting inclusive policies that will encourage female engagement in the production value chain.
Enhancing Capacity to Apply Research Evidence (CARE) in Policy for Youth Engagement in Agribusiness and Rural Economic Activities in Africa project seeks to enhance the understanding of the poverty reduction and employment impact, and the factors influencing youth engagement in agribusiness and rural farm and non-farm economy.
By doing so, significantly increase the evidence of how policies and investments can contribute to economic growth and the enabling environment for rural youth.
The CARE project is being conducted by IITA, an award-winning, research-for-development non-profit institution. It generates agricultural innovations to meet Africa’s most pressing challenges of hunger, malnutrition, poverty, and natural resource degradation.
CARE’s main aim is to enhance the understanding of the poverty reduction and employment impact, and the factors influencing youth engagement in agribusiness and rural farm and non-farm economy.
Its key overall objective is to improve the availability, exchange, dissemination and use of research findings in the field of agribusiness and rural economic activities from young African scholars into policy and practice in support of economic growth and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, working at local, national and regional levels in Africa.
As part of its objectives, it is working on the following areas: Strengthen the capacity of young African scholars in generating, appraising and disseminating evidence-based results to inform future action plans for national governments, the international community, the business sector and local communities;
Increase the availability and use of evidence for youth policies and decision-making related to youth participation in the rural sector; and
Strengthen the ability of key stakeholders to better use an evidence-based approach in youth economic empowerment in policy development.
This is emerging as the growing population in Africa poses both opportunities and challenges for its economy. In Nigeria, more than half of its population is under 30 years of age, posing a significant challenge for policymakers in providing quality jobs for these youth.
Since agriculture is a major source of employment and livelihood, youth tends to move between farm and non-farm jobs.
However, the survey covered both urban and rural enumeration areas in all 36 states of Nigeria. Although youth migration from farms has been addressed in the policy space, there has not been much documentary evidence to substantiate these claims.
Seyingbo used quantitative data from the nationally representative General Household Survey implemented in three waves—2010/2011, 2012/2013, and 2014/2015, and developed by the country’s National Bureau of Statistics in collaboration with the World Bank.
The Living Standards Measurement Survey (LSMS) was adopted using three questionnaires: household, agricultural, and community/prices.
The research shows that within the period of study, more youth migrated from farm to non-farm jobs. Some of the factors accounting for this migration pattern included gender, age, education, access to mobile phones, farm size, asset size, access to electricity, death shock, and land access.
The difference in educational attainment between males and females also affected the migratory pattern. The females would not transit from farm to non-farm jobs as their male counterparts.
Youth in the northeastern and northwestern parts of the country appear to be more likely than those in the North central area to leave the farming sector for non-farm work, perhaps due to the ongoing Boko Haram insurgency.
The study recommended policies towards fair and easy access to credit and the rural digital revolution that will hugely support young farmers’ aspirations to stay on the farm.
“More youth are likely to stay on the farm if there is guaranteed internet and electricity, and if measures for them to contain or manage shocks such as loss of a loved one, and land loss that have the potential to drain their income and impact the sustainability of their businesses are put in place,” he added.