Agribusiness: Way out for Youth Rural-Urban Migration

Research has associated the increase of rural-urban migration amongst youth in Africa with lesser food expenditures and the incidence of poverty while attributing the major reason for youths migrating from rural to urban areas in West Africa, Nigeria to unemployment.
The recent study funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) under the Enhancing Capacity to Apply Research Evidence (CARE) in Policy for Youth Engagement in Agribusiness and Rural Economic Activities in Africa project, focuses on rural-urban migration profile of youths in Nigeria, and the impacts on the welfare of the rural households, governments and stakeholders in Nigeria.
Oluwaseun Oginni, a research fellow under the CARE project states that governments and development partners must consider and embrace the creation of enabling environment for private sector to invest in the rural areas as this will help with addressing the issue of unemployment and poverty.
With many youths leaving the rural areas because of unemployment, while seeing agriculture as a poor man’s job. The study proffers solutions that will help governments together with development partners address the challenge of unemployment in rural areas and migration to urban areas. Oginni lists creating awareness on professionalization of agriculture activities and making it less of a ‘hard work, low paid job’ and more of a ‘profit- making business’, with access to services and resources such as improved varieties and new technologies to increase productivity, as part of measures to mitigate this challenge.
The study also shows that rural-urban migration of youths causes household farm income to be reduced considerably, this is as a result of shortage in family labor, and increase in the cost of hired labor. Oginni suggests in the study that the government of Nigeria where the study was carried out, can unlock the potential in its rural development by creating infrastructures that are directly related to private sector development, such as building roads to facilitate market access, promoting labor force through vocational trainings and technical capacity building targeted at increasing the skills of local labor force. The study recommends access to finance and providing training on credit utilization that can have positive influence on their farming activities.
Despite the importance of remittance to average households, according to the study, and with migrant youths a little bit more educated than those that did not migrate, yet only a few households are receiving it since majority of the youths are not gainfully employed in the cities.
The research which focuses on rural-urban migration profile of youths in Nigeria, and the impacts on the welfare of the rural households has stated that government of Nigeria and development partners must consider and embrace the creation of an enabling environment for private sector to invest in the rural areas as rural-urban migration of youth is associated with reduced productivity and consumption-based welfare outcomes of rural households with youth migrants.
According to the study, with access to services and resources such as improved varieties and new technologies to increase productivity and efficiency, sensitization on prospect of agribusiness while creating an enabling environment for agribusiness activities, youths will make use of these to become more involved in agriculture as a major source of livelihood in rural areas thereby addressing rural-urban migration.

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