Agriculture Project Topics

Assessing Youth Perception Towards Agriculture and Identifying Barriers to Their Participation in the Sector

Assessing Youth Perception Towards Agriculture and Identifying Barriers to Their Participation in the Sector

Assessing Youth Perception Towards Agriculture and Identifying Barriers to Their Participation in the Sector

Chapter One

Objective of the study

The objectives of the study are:

  1. To assess the perception of youth towards agriculture
  2. To identify the barriers hindering youth participation in agriculture
  3. To explore the factors influencing youth career choices in agriculture



The Concept of ‘Youth’

The term youth has been defined differently by different scholars. Luckey (2012) defines youth, more flexibly, as the early period in a child’s life and development. Youth can also be defined in relation to age brackets. According to the United Nations (UN), youth refers to a category of persons between the ages of 15 to 24 years old. All UN youth statistics are based on this age definition. However, this definition limits youths to specific ages, thereby marginalising those under the age of 15 and over 24, yet this bracket might still require necessary and tailored focus and support. The African Union holds a different opinion, as the African Youth Charter defines the youth as persons aged between 15 and 35 years.

The United Nations’ defines youth as those between the ages of 15 and 24 years old (UNESCO, 2015). However, this definition presents several limitations. First, it limits youth to specific ages, inherently marginalizing those under 15 and over 24, yet who might still require necessary and tailored focus and support. The World Bank has expanded this definition to include all people between 12 and 24 years old; however, policy discussions generally use the flexible definition of youth as those transitioning between childhood and adulthood (Bennell, 2007; Chinsinga & Chasukwa, 2012). Regardless, these definitions imply youth are a homogenous population when they are in fact heterogeneous in gender, locality, access to resources and region. Depending on these variations, youth needs differ drastically and require targeted and tailored policy, programming and development initiatives (Bennell, 2007; Bennell, 2010; Chinsinga & Chasukwa, 2012; FAO, IFAD & MIJARC, 2014)

Depending on locality, region, access to resources and gender, youth have different awareness, desires, needs, perceptions and aspirations, particularly towards agriculture (Bennell, 2010; Chinsinga & Chasukwa, 2012; Frick et al., 1995; Thornton, 2008). Youth living in rural areas, resource-dependent communities or those farther away from metropolitan areas have shown to have a greater baseline understanding of agriculture and the agricultural sector (Frick et al., 1995; Thornton, 2008). Those living in rural areas are more likely to have lower levels of educational attainment than those living in urban areas (Bennell, 2010; Crockett, Shanahan & Jackson-Newsom, 2000; Haller & Virkler, 1993). They are also more likely to work or be interested in working in an agriculture or agricultural-related occupation than those living in urban areas (Bennell 2007; Crockett et al., 2000; Haller & Virkler, 1993; Holz-Clause & Jost, 1995; World Bank, 2009b). Youth from wealthier families often are able to remain unemployed and rely on familial support, whereas youth from poorer families are forced into finding work, causing them to either accept low-waged labor or migrate to cities in search of higher-wages (FAO, IFAD & MIJARC, 2014; ILO, 2004;). When discussing youth policy, programming and efforts, it must be through a lens that recognizes and accounts for heterogeneity within the global youth population. This can be done through understanding, soliciting and incorporating youth perceptions, desires and needs into policy, programming and effort development

Participatory research and program development methods allows for this incorporation of the youth voice. Before developing or implementing a program, initiative or policy regarding youth in a certain area, participatory research must be done in order to gain feedback and insight into the specific needs and desires of that youth population. This can be done through Rural Rapid Appraisals, needs assessments, semi-structured facilitated focus groups, semi structured key informant interviews and participatory action research (Bergold & Thomas, 2012; Whyte, 1991).

Perceptions of Agriculture and Agribusiness among Youth in Developing Countries

Perception plays a vital role in agriculture and agribusiness. A paper by Anyidoho et al. (2012) posits that youth in general do not have a positive perception towards agriculture and agribusiness. Charles (2014) concurs with Anyidoho et al. (2012) and further indicates that many young people perceive farming as a job for school dropouts or a poor man’s work which provides no opportunities to achieve personal success. Furthermore, a study by Chinsinga and Chasukwa (2012) found that agriculture is perceived as a less worthy subject or as a last option for the under-achieving students. This has a negative impact as it fuels the negative attitude that the youth have towards agriculture and agribusiness. Afande et al. (2015) adds that the youth also perceive agriculture and agribusiness as something to be pursued after failing in school. Many youth perceive farmers as uneducated and unskilled. In Nigeria, a paper by Ifenkwe (2012) adds that youth are not interested to engage in agriculture since they do not perceive farming as an attractive career field. Muthoni (2017) concurs with Ifenkwe (2012) and adds that urban youth perceive agriculture as a ‘dirty job’ which they are not open to pursue. This finding is supported by a report by the Youth in Farming (2011) who revealed that young people perceive agriculture as a profession of intense labour, not profitable and unable to support their livelihood compared to what white-collar jobs offer. These poor perceptions towards agriculture by the youth could be attributed to several factors. In most developing countries, these poor perceptions are attributed to culture and education. For example, Okello (2014) notes that schools use agricultural activities as punishment, thus contributing to its negative perception by the youth. In Uganda, for example, agriculture has remained unattractive to the youth partly because schools administer agricultural-related activities as punishment for lack of discipline by students. Moreover, in Kenya, Afande et al. (2015) note that the current education curriculum and teaching methods are directed towards teaching whitecollar workers. As a result, opportunities for agriculture-led growth among the youth are reduced leaving agriculture in the hands of the elderly rural population, hence resulting in low productivity and food insecurity. A study by Muthoni (2017) posits that training and capacity building can therefore transform youth perception towards agriculture. There is, therefore, need for interventions targeted at building entrepreneurial culture among the youth. A study by Ashoka et al. (2019) in India suggested that there is a need to develop an entrepreneurial culture starting with young people in schools. In their study, Ashoka et al. (2019) emphasized that education can build entrepreneurial culture among the youth in schools. In the context of agribusiness also, there is, therefore, need for the provision of secondary school agricultural education.





Chapter Three

  Research methodology

Research Design

The research design adopted in this research work is the survey research design which involves the usage of self-designed questionnaire in the collection of data. Under the survey research design, primary data of this study will be collected from selected youths in Accra in order to determine assessing youth perception towards agriculture and identifying barriers to their participation in the sector. The design was chosen because it enables the researcher to collect data without manipulation of any variables of interest in the study. The design also provides opportunity for equal chance of participation in the study for respondents.

 Population of Study

The population of study is the census of all items or a subject that possess the characteristics or that have the knowledge of the phenomenon that is being studied (Asiaka, 1991). It also means the aggregate people from which the sample is to be drawn.

Population is sometimes referred to as the universe. The population of this research study will be Seventy-five (75) selected youths, Accra.



This chapter is about the analysis and presentation of data collected from the field through questionnaire. The analysis of the data with particular question immediately followed by the presentation of findings.

As mentioned in chapter three, 63 questionnaires were administered and 50 were retrieved and necessary analysis was carried out on them and presented as follows:




It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain assessing youth perception towards agriculture and identifying barriers to their participation in the sector. In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of assessing youth perception towards agriculture and identifying barriers to their participation in the sector.


This study was on assessing youth perception towards agriculture and identifying barriers to their participation in the sector. Three objectives were raised which included: To assess the perception of youth towards agriculture, to identify the barriers hindering youth participation in agriculture and to explore the factors influencing youth career choices in agriculture. The total population for the study is 75 selected youths in Accra. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies.


In conclusion, fostering youth participation in agriculture in Ghana requires a multi-faceted approach that addresses the identified barriers and capitalizes on the opportunities presented by technological advancements and sustainable practices. By investing in the next generation of agricultural entrepreneurs, innovators, and leaders, Ghana can ensure a prosperous and resilient agricultural sector that contributes to the country’s economic growth and food security for generations to come.


Based on the findings of the study on assessing youth perception towards agriculture and identifying barriers to their participation in the sector in Ghana, the following recommendations are proposed to promote youth engagement and address the challenges in the agricultural sector:

  1. Strengthen Access to Land: Implement land tenure reforms and initiatives that ensure secure land rights for youth interested in agriculture. Establish land banks or leasing arrangements that facilitate access to agricultural land for young farmers.
  2. Improve Access to Financial Resources: Develop targeted financial support mechanisms, such as low-interest loans, grants, and agricultural credit facilities, to enable young farmers to invest in modern technologies, inputs, and equipment.
  3. Enhance Agricultural Education and Training: Invest in agricultural education and vocational training programs that equip youth with the necessary skills and knowledge to adopt modern and sustainable farming practices. Establish agricultural training centers and partnerships with educational institutions to offer relevant courses.


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  •  Anyidoho, N., Leavy, J., & Okyere, K. (2012). Young people’s aspirations in agriculture: A case study of Ghana’s cocoa sector. Paper for Young People, Farming and Food: International Conference on the Future of Agrifood Sector. Retrieved from /perceptions-and-aspirationscase-study- young-people ghana%E2%80%99scocoasector [4]
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