Original Research

Youth participation in agriculture, accounting for entrepreneurial dimensions

Johannes I.F. Henning, Brent D. Jammer, Henry Jordaan
The Southern African Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management | Vol 14, No 1 | a461 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajesbm.v14i1.461 | © 2022 Johannes I.F. Henning, Brent D. Jammer, Henry Jordaan | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 August 2021 | Published: 08 November 2022

About the author(s)

Johannes I.F. Henning, Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Brent D. Jammer, Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Henry Jordaan, Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Despite the high youth unemployment levels, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, participation in the agricultural sector remains low. The agricultural sector provides valuable opportunities of employment, which could contribute towards relieving the high levels of unemployment and enhancing livelihoods of families in rural areas. Youth are also seen as the future of the agricultural sector and food production.

Aim: To determine whether entrepreneurial dimensions, along with assets within the sustainable livelihoods framework, influences participation of youth in the agricultural sector.

Setting: Focus is on youth and the influence of endogenous and exogenous factors on their participation in the agricultural sector.

Methods: Entrepreneurial dimensions of 440 youth participants were derived from statements related to entrepreneurial skills and competencies by means of principal component analysis and combined with factors from the sustainable livelihood framework in a multinomial logistic regression.

Results: It was found that the youth are heterogeneous in their endogenous and exogenous resources. Youth involved in the sector are more likely to have access to land and extension services, experience in the sector and support initiatives. In terms of entrepreneurial dimensions, youth involved are more inclined to believe in themselves and are more likely to take advantage of opportunities (pull entrepreneurship). The results show that policies and programmes should consider both endogenous and exogenous factors and combinations thereof to attract and enhance youth participation in the agricultural sector.

Conclusion: Policy and programme development should consider the heterogeneity of youth in terms of their access to resources and entrepreneurial dimensions to enhance their participation in the agricultural sector. Participation in agriculture requires more than only access to land, and other individual physical resources attention should also be given to endogenous factors of individuals and combinations of different resources.


Keywords

agriculture; food security; youth; entrepreneurship; sustainable livelihoods; sub-Saharan Africa

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