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The Future of Rural Youth in Developing Countries

Tapping the Potential of Local Value Chains

image of The Future of Rural Youth in Developing Countries

Rural youth constitute over half of the youth population in developing countries and will continue to increase in the next 35 years. Without rural transformation and green industrialisation happening fast enough to create more wage employment in a sustainable manner, the vast majority of rural youth in developing countries have little choice but to work in poorly paid and unstable jobs or to migrate.

As household dietary pattern is changing, new demands by a rising middle class for diversified and processed foods are creating new job opportunities in food-related manufacturing and services. Agro-food industries are labour-intensive and can create jobs in rural areas as well as ensure food security. Yet the employment landscape along the agro-food value chains is largely underexploited. This study looks at local actions and national policies that can promote agro-food value chains and other rural non-farm activities using a youth employment lens.

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Towards decent work opportunities for rural youth

OECD Development Centre

Without structural transformation happening fast enough in rural areas to create more employment in a sustainable manner, the vast majority of rural youth in developing countries have little choice but to be self-employed in the informal sector, take up poorly paid jobs, or migrate for better opportunities. The increasing demand for diversified and processed food in developing countries is, however, offering the opportunity for rural economies to create various types of jobs along the agricultural value chains, both upstream and downstream. This chapter provides recommendations to policy makers in adopting a comprehensive and local approach to rural economic development to make rural areas attractive again to young people.

English

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