Jobs for Rural Youth

The Role of Local Food Economies

image of Jobs for Rural Youth

Today, the global youth population is at its highest ever and still growing, with the highest proportion of youth living in Africa and Asia, and a majority of them in rural areas. Young people in rural areas face the double challenge of age-specific vulnerabilities and underdevelopment of rural areas. While agriculture absorbs the majority of rural workers in developing countries, low pay and poor working conditions make it difficult to sustain rural livelihoods. Potential job opportunities for rural youth exist in agriculture and along the agri-food value chain, however. Growing populations, urbanisation and rising incomes of the working class are increasing demand for more diverse and higher value added agricultural and food products in Africa and developing Asia. This demand will create a need for off-farm labour, especially in agribusinesses, which tends to be better paid and located in rural areas and secondary towns. It could boost job creation in the food economy provided that local food systems were mobilised to take up the challenge of higher and changing domestic demand for food.


Methodological annex

The report provides an in-depth view on a diverse set of countries, which vary in their income levels, development, size and importance of the agricultural sector (as a percentage of gross domestic product, GDP), and business environment. Five of the countries are in sub-Saharan Africa and two are in Southeast Asia. lists the sample countries and provides summary statistics for each, highlighting the report sample’s heterogeneity. These countries represent a diverse set of agri-food producers, with varying levels of development, urbanisation and labour market dynamics.


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