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Title: Agribusiness as an Unlocking Opportunity for Youth Livelihood Development

Article Number: EC2/2015/109

Authors: Molla Mekonnen Alemu

Topic: Agriculture & Biotechnology


This study explored the role of agribusiness opportunities in youth-led livelihood development activities. The objectives of the study are, to identify the significance of agribusiness’ role in youth livelihood development, to understand the potentialities of agribusiness for employment generation and to identify the barriers of the sector in Sierra Leone. Primary data were collected through structured questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. The study has shown that agribusiness has a great potential in diversifying employment opportunities for the youth. Its contribution for food security and the well-being of the community through livelihoods development is magnificent. The study further revealed as the sector is also not free from different challenges like shortage of improved agricultural technology, loose connection across the different stages of the value chain, mind-set of youth to go for agricultural activities and the weak linkage between agricultural productions with the markets. However, to fully realize the capacity of agribusiness in livelihoods development there needs to have a proper understanding of the market and value chain development. In addition to this, there is a need to build up the role of the private sector and support a more plural and strong enabling environment to enable a broader scale uptake of productive market focused approaches. 

Key Words: Agribusiness, livelihood, youth, market, value chain.


    COMMENT - 1

  • Dr. AJIT V PANDYA (Viewer) 18th Nov 2015 - 10:34 PM
    Good morning from Dr. Ajit V Pandya form Ahmedabad ..India
    My questions / suggestion (s) are as follows…my email id is
    Watsapp no. 91 8905599852

    1. how to do mind-set of youth to go for agricultural activities bce, in india farmer move to city from vellage and after earning they buy farmhouse ? to get agricultural products online directly by farmers- e.g. vegetables,fruits,seeds,cereals,legumes- so they get good value with profit ?

  • COMMENT - 2

  • Molla Mekonnen Alemu (Author) 19th Nov 2015 - 2:04 PM
    Hi Dr Ajit, thanks for the questions please find my response below:
    Q1. We know that in traditional agricultural production systems the mode of production is labour intensive, tiresome and the profit may not also be attractive. But, the issue is how to make it attractive especially for the unemployed youth. Generally speaking, it has a lot to do with policy, strategy, institutional arrangements and some other high level issues which will create the enabling environment of making it more attractive. In that case, it is all about making it productive and making it profit oriented so that people will be attracted to it.
    The very specifics could also include the following (but not limited to):
    1. Encouraging the private sector to invest in agricultural potentials, whereby smallholder farmers can also take advantage of it by way of increasing profit through partnership arrangements with the big companies. The partnership could entail agricultural inputs (skill, technology, etc.) so that small holders can increase their production capacity.
    2. Market linkages and facilities can also maximize the profit margin.
    3. Storage and transport facilities can also reduce post-harvest losses and thereof increase the profitability of the sector.
    4. Establishing the system for market information sharing so that better prices can be attended by the producers.
    5. Formation of associations, unions, etc. for ease of collective action as well as managing challenges and opportunities in an organized way. This could include, opening up of market opportunities… like establishment of retail stores in cities by the associations where the produce from rural areas can be sold at a better price.
    5. Infrastructural developments whereby the produce can be channeled to market places very easily in a cost effective way will also help a lot.
    6. Helping them to prepare a business plan and set target and goals across time.
    7. Market analysis – in doing so, the production aspect of the business can be informed and directed by the actual demand of the market so that it can attract more profit.
    8. etc.
    In general, the main thing is actually to make agriculture attractive by increasing the profit margin according to the local context which will actually differ from country to country.

    Q2. Some of my above points can also help here… issues like policy and strategy, institutional structural arrangements by the concerned government stakeholders … so that internet technology can be used as a tool of information sharing and help in making more profit.
    1. Organizing the producers through associations so that they can have a collective impact in breaking through the competitive market by making use of technology like the internet.
    2. Establishment of business development services centers at a local level could also help to get and share market information very easily at a central place by making use of technologies like internet, mobile phone technologies, etc.
    3. Making use of mobile phone technologies to share and receive market prices, demand, supply, etc. related information could also help.
    4. Identifying the proper demand and supply oriented market destinations and then sharing that information to entrepreneurs of that destination via email, text, etc.
    5. Last but not least is to establish profitable and proper market linkages where technological advancement can be used as a medium of information sharing.

    Thanks a lot!

  • COMMENT - 3

  • Dr. AJIT V PANDYA (Viewer) 23rd Nov 2015 - 12:28 PM
    good morning....

  • COMMENT - 4

  • Molla Mekonnen Alemu (Author) 23rd Nov 2015 - 12:45 PM
    Thanks a lot Doc, how are you too?

  • COMMENT - 5

  • Mamah Stanley Chinedu (Viewer) 24th Nov 2015 - 4:20 AM
    Well researched. Agriculture and related business are the solution to rising unemployment , hunger and down slide in oil prices especially as it affects African countries and the Globe at large

  • COMMENT - 6

  • Molla Mekonnen Alemu (Author) 24th Nov 2015 - 11:08 AM
    Hi Mamah,
    thanks a lot! Yes agribusiness is among the greatest opportunities in the context of developing countries in the effort of alleviating unemployment, food insecurity, climate change and also global warming.

  • COMMENT - 7

  • DAVID OLUWAMAYOWA FAKUNLE (Viewer) 25th Nov 2015 - 4:00 PM
    Dear Author,
    The potentials embedded in the Agri-Business especially in Africa should be harnessed in full to curb youth restiveness and create jobs.
    Well done
    • Molla Mekonnen Alemu (Author) 26th Nov 2015 - 4:29 PM
      Hi David,
      thanks for the comment, indeed agriculture is a great opportunity and potential for the growth and development of developing countries.


  • COMMENT - 8

  • S. Sivashankari (Viewer) 26th Nov 2015 - 1:46 PM
    Dear Author,

    Really good initiative..Motivating the youth towards Agri-business is the need of the hour...
    • Molla Mekonnen Alemu (Author) 26th Nov 2015 - 4:32 PM
      Hi Sivashankari,

      thanks! empowering and motivating the futures of the world (youth) in agribusiness is among the great opportunities in reducing the alarming growth of youth unemployment and also contributing for food security at different levels.


  • COMMENT - 9

  • M.Saradha (Viewer) 27th Nov 2015 - 12:30 PM
    Dear Molla Mekonnen Alemu
    You have taken good effort. Some of the following things also major factor affecting agribusiness.
    1. Money minded people
    2. Agents
    3. Genetic engineering technology also affects the nature of the product
    4. Lack of interest in agribusiness among youth
    What is your suggestion about this?
    • Molla Mekonnen Alemu (Author) 27th Nov 2015 - 2:15 PM
      Hi Dr.Saradha,
      Thanks for the comment and inputs.
      Agribusiness, the greatest potential in creating livelihood opportunities and boosting food security in many of the developing countries is being affected by many factors. The magnitude of the different factors differs from region to region as well as on the level of development and technological advancement of the countries. For instance, genetic engineering can at times cause a disruption in the organic way of production systems. The interference of unwanted agents and money minded people will also affect the profit margin of the producers which in turn makes the agribusiness to be less attractive by many young people.
      The remedy is all about the creation of the enabling environment by Governments for the proper development of agribusiness potentials. It can encompass the placement of policies as well as appropriate strategies. Organizing the producers in to associations, unions, etc. will also be instrumental to maximize the benefits of agribusiness by adding the value of produces across the different stages of the agricultural value chains, which in turn will help in buying the interest of young people to be attracted towards agribusiness as a result of profit maximization. Apart from that, the formation of unions, associations, etc. will help to control the impact of different unwanted agents as well as money minded people which will affect profits as well as market transactions.