“Last resort and often not an option at all”: Youth, education and farming as livelihood in Ethiopia

By Getnet Tadele and Asrat Ayalew

The current government of Ethiopia considers the agricultural sector as the key factor that will ultimately determine the success or failure of its national development plan based on the ADLI philosophy. Growth in the agricultural sector, in addition to meeting important targets such as achieving food security, is expected to provide the vital push the rest of the nation’s economy needs in order to jump start. This belief is also apparent in the latest manifestation of the government’s five year plan, dubbed ‘the Growth and Transformation Plan’, where ‘ensuring the agricultural sector is emphasized (as the second of eight pillars) to provide the massive push necessary for economic growth and industrialization’ (FDRE Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, 2010). The government also considers improving agricultural skills, knowledge and productivity as another vital component of the agricultural development strategy and argues that not much can be achieved by trying to teach the older generation of farmers who are illiterate and unable and/or unwilling to acquire and adopt new, improved and scientific methods of farming. Various polices of the government emphasize a need to cultivate a new generation of literate farmers (who have preferably some post elementary school agricultural training or, at the very least, completed elementary school). Clearly, according to the policy, literate farmers are needed for improved agricultural innovation and output which in turn will allow young people to secure more productive and attractive employment in agriculture. Stemming from this government policy, this paper attempts to capture attitudes and aspirations of rural in and out of school youth towards agriculture.

Normal 0 false false false EN-GB X-NONE X-NONE “Last resort and often not an option at all”: Youth, education and farming as livelihood in Ethiopia
File: Tadele & Ayalew, Last resort and often not an option at all.pdf