Socio-economic factors influencing youth participation in agriculture in Nigeria

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Socio-economic factors influencing youth participation in agriculture case study ondo state

ABSTRACT


This study sought to establish Socio-economic factors influencing youth participation in agriculture case study ondo state.. The study was necessitated by the fact that, despite the consensus by the Nigerian Government and her development partners, that, the reliance on agriculture for food production and food security, at domestic, regional and global level, depends on youth creative and productive force, and that youth participation in agriculture is an important source of employment to the youth – who form a large proportion of unemployed persons in Nigeria – the agriculture sector; which remains the second backbone of the Nigeria’s economy after oil, remains unattractive to the youth. In Ondo, there is a large percentage of unemployed youth and hence the high rate of youth migration from rural to urban centres. This is because farming to them was expensive and meant for the older generation. The study was guided by the following objectives: To explore how youth awareness on agricultural value chain projects influences their participation in those projects; to establish how perceptions of the youth on agriculture, and access to social-capital networks, influences youth participation in agricultural projects, in addition, to assess how economic factors influence youth participation in agricultural in Ondo,. The study was based on the theory of reasoned action. This research employed a descriptive survey design, as it is focused on collecting data to explore, find out and explain the factors that influenced youth participation in the projects. The target population for this study was 1,740 youths. The sample size of this study was 96 respondents. Stratified proportionate sampling was adopted to select the 24 participants from four local governments in Ondo state. Primary data was collected by administering a semi-structured questionnaire. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse the quantitative data. Descriptive statistics was used to summarize the data. These included percentages and frequencies. Tables were appropriately used to present the data that was collected, for ease of understanding and analysis. Inferential statistics (Pearson’s Correlation Analysis) was used to explore the relationship between the dependent variable (youth participation) and independent variables. The study found that economic factors such as inadequate land and lack of funds limited youth participation in agricultural value chain activities. Further, majority of the youth indicated that they participated in agriculture activities because they were aware about existing projects and activities. Access to social-capital networks and youth perception on agriculture had minimal effects on youth participation in agricultural activities in Ondo. The study recommends that the government and other stakeholder should make adequate budgetary allocation to finance for modern technology, establish innovation hubs and provide machines and equipment to support agricultural activities for the youth. This will improve efficiency in farming and save huge costs that might in turn contribute to improved productivity. The study further recommends that the governments should assist in creating ready markets and facilitating linkages to other markets, for agricultural produce, this will encourage the youth to participate in farming activities since they are assured of making sales and increasing their profits which will contribute to employment, improved income and household food security

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