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South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences

On-line version ISSN 2222-3436
Print version ISSN 1015-8812

Abstract

CHIPFUPA, Unity  and  TAGWI, Aluwani. Youth's participation in agriculture: A fallacy or achievable possibility? Evidence from rural South Africa. S. Afr. j. econ. manag. sci. [online]. 2021, vol.24, n.1, pp.1-12. ISSN 2222-3436.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v24i1.4004.

BACKGROUND: The realisation of more youth involvement in the agricultural sector has proved to be elusive, so the question of the possibility of a youth-led agriculture needs further investigation AIM: The aim of the study was to assess whether there is potential for the rural youth to participate in agriculture by employing the typology formulation approach SETTING: The study is premised on recent calls for strategies to reduce youth unemployment in sub-Saharan Africa by involving and enhancing the agricultural sector METHOD: A survey in questionnaire form was conducted with 224 youths from two districts in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The Principal Components Analysis and K-Means Clustering were performed to determine the youth typologies and assess their potential RESULTS: Five typologies were identified. Most youths (59.3%) were found in Typology 1 (those that see no benefits in farming) and in Typology 2 (older, experienced and with access to land). Typology 5 (male youths in agricultural cooperatives) had the lowest proportion of youths (5.7%). Participants in typologies 2, 3 and 5 were deemed to have high to moderate potential for successful engagement in farming. The highest potential was found in the typology with the least percentage of youths CONCLUSIONS: The typologies showed that youths have varying perceptions and aspirations regarding agriculture. While some show an interest and have the potential to participate in farming, others do not. Therefore, the blanket notion of the youth's lack of interest in agriculture should be qualified as it does not always hold. The heterogeneity in characteristics among the youths in these typologies, including their potential to participate in agriculture, expresses the differences in the kinds of support needed to increase their participation

Keywords : typology formulation; the youth; agriculture; psychological capital; smallholder.

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