How young Kenyans feel about farming goes against conventional wisdom

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Every year, 12 million young people enter the labour market across the African continent.

Economists and policy makers differ about how they should be absorbed into the labour market. Some experts believe that only agriculture can create enough jobs. Others argue for a focus on the agricultural sector and industrialisation especially with increasing urbanisation.

Choosing which policy avenue to follow requires a good understanding of the aspirations of young people.

For our study we spoke to young people from 261 households in rural Kenya. First, we asked them about their preferred livelihood choice using “either-or” questions. This forced them to choose between livelihood options. In this case, only 23% opted for farming.

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