Job creation around agriculture can spur youth employment in Africa – UN
A senior United Nations official said that agriculture will continue to generate employment in Africa over the coming decades, with businesses around farming, including processing, packaging, transportation, distribution, marketing and financial services creating jobs for young people, especially those in rural areas.
José Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said “countries need to promote a rural and structural transformation that fosters synergies between farm and non-farm activities and that reinforces” the linkages between rural areas and cities.
Da Silva said this during FAO Regional Conference for Africa, which primarily focused on the theme of creating decent and attractive employment in the world’s “youngest” continent in terms of the average age of its population.
Estimates suggest that up to 12 million new jobs will have to be created every year to absorb new labor market entrants over the next 20 years.
Today, some 54 percent of Africa’s work force relies on the agricultural sector for livelihoods, income and employment, especially in family farming.
FAO said that with more people moving to cities, demand on urban food markets will grow, which in turn can generate job opportunities in all agriculture-related activities.