The agricultural sector of a nation is efficient enough to create job opportunities and would undoubtedly be a springboard for youth empowerment for the sustainable socio-economic development of every country. The problem of youth unemployment is a socio-economic problem that challenges the African continent at large. A higher percentage of the working class age group between 15 and 64 (OECD) that are unemployed in Africa are mainly youths.
A focus on youth empowerment through other options especially agriculture for their financial stability is one of the cornerstones of sustainable development. The youths provide the most massive human resources of a society. These alarming youth unemployment statistics in Africa reflect the scale of the problem. Therefore, refocusing on agriculture is an appropriate solution. Ghana is a country of about 29.6 million people according to the United Nations World population review estimates and about a third (38.8%) of this population makes up the youth ages between 15 and 35 (Ghana’s national youth policy 2010). This increasing population has reduced the number of available jobs and increasing the rate of unemployment especially in the formal labour sector.
Unemployment constitutes to be the most difficult socio-economic and political problem in Ghana and other African countries crea. Therefore, concentration on agriculture is considered a panacea for the young african workforce to create employment and to build peace regarding insecurities. The agriculture sector offers, among other things, a wide range of employment opportunities due to the diversity and multifunctionality of the industry.
The agricultural sector has the potential maximize land use to provide environmental benefits such as nature conservation, to ensure the sustainable management of renewable natural resources, to preserve biodiversity and to contribute to the viability of rural areas. Agriculture is an essential sector in improving the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is important to measure a country’s economic performance and international comparisons. Three major sectors of agriculture contribute to the Gross Domestic Product of a country. These three sectors are classified as the input (primary sector), production (secondary sector), processing (Tertiary sector). Each of these sectors has the full potential to employ the young workforce in Africa.
Increasing the agricultural potential
Youths have a key role to play in enabling Africa to meet the food and nutrition needs of its people over the coming decades, but lack of innovative finance is a problem and agriculture does not seem to be attractive to them for reasons why they migrate from the rural to urban regions in search of opportunities. We need to reorganize the image of agriculture to attract young Africans by investing in small-scale farming, the predominant form of agriculture in Africa, offering smallholders access to modern technologies, education, markets and innovative financial services or grants to meet the needs of young farmers. In the next 20 years, Africa will have more than 200 million youths who will be great investors to drive agriculture forward (Kola Masha).
The role of ICT in the development of youth competencies while improving communication and facilitating access to information and decision-making processes cannot be ignored. Investing in the extension of these technologies to rural areas, especially young people, who are generally more adaptable to their use, has enabled young farmers to monitor market information and new opportunities. expand the scope of existing training programs.
Likewise, linking rural and urban areas through integrated planning using intermediate cities to connect with the rural setting for better food supply and agricultural marketing. In addition, specific and specific measures are needed to increase access and land rights for young people, paying particular attention to the needs of young women.
Special efforts are needed to integrate rural youth voices into food and agriculture policy and planning processes. While youth issues are being attended continuously to, young people living in rural areas are often unrepresented in important debates and their specific needs and aspirations are unknown or ignored. Supporting and interacting with youth organizations, especially in rural areas, in addition to promoting the participation of young people in farmers, rural and female workers’ organizations, will be essential to create a beneficial policy and institutional environment, an attractive agricultural sector for youths.
However, there is a need for a more inclusive, sensitive institutional and political environment for young people, where growth is increasing the most, reduced age inequality and young people today offered viable opportunities to stimulate modern agriculture and feed Africa.
“Employment – Employment Rate by Age Group – OECD Data.” TheOECD, data.oecd.org/emp/employment-rate-by-age-group.htm.
“Ghana Population 2018.” Total Population by Country 2018, worldpopulationreview.com/countries/ghana-population/.
Masha, Kola. “Kola Masha: How Farming Could Employ Africa’s Young Workforce — and Help Build Peace.” TED, en.tiny.ted.com/talks/kola_masha_how_farming_could_employ_africa_s_young_workforce_and_help_build_peace.