Policy highlights:

  • Agriculture can provide quality employment, ensure local people are not dispossessed of land, promote diversified and sustainable livelihoods, and catalyze more vibrant local economies. However, not all agriculture investments bring positive change. This paper discusses three models of agriculture investment based on nine case studies in three countries (Ghana, Kenya and Zambia).
  • A description of the three models follows. 1) Plantations and estates, which combine permanent and casual labour, require a lot of land (often dispossessing others in the process) and have value chains that are embedded in global markets. 2) Commercial farming areas, which are clusters of medium-scale commercial farmers. They accumulate land through rent or sale and are often specialized in a specific product. 3) Out-growing schemes (the development of processing facilities for groups of farmers) and contract farming, which facilitate the incorporation of smallholder farms into commercial value chains.
  • The findings across the project were mixed, but show that commercial farming areas and contract farming are most likely to become embedded in and support local economies, while plantations and estates offer more jobs. These jobs are, however, of low quality and casual. It was found that the outcomes of a farm are more dependent on the model used and contextual factors than purely on the scale of the farm.
  • Throughout the study, gender and generational dynamics emerge as vital to agricultural outcomes. Women in commercial farms, for example, are often excluded from operations when the farms become more established, while children (mainly sons) are required to run the farm’s operations and leave other activities like employment or education. Changing demands for family and wage labour should be taken into account in agriculture investments.
Share this post

Related items

Closing the loop: 3 barriers to decent youth employment in Africa’s waste management sector

This blog is part of a research project on the opportunities for decent work for youth in Africa’s Waste Recycling Sector, in collaboration with the Challenge Fund for Youth Employment (CFYE). Waste management in Africa is a major challenge for sustainable and inclusive development. Due to poor management, 90% of the waste generated in Africa is disposed of in landfills and uncontrolled dumpsites with severe consequences for the environment and people working in the waste management sector.

Green jobs & the future of work in Africa: the story of Olivia Onyemaobi and Pad-Up Creations

In this video, we present the story of Olivia Onyemaobi, Nigerian entrepreneur and founder of Pad-Up Creations, a social enterprise producing affordable and eco-friendly sanitary pads in partnership with CFYE.

Inclusive Youth Agripreneurship in Africa: A New Report and a Comprehensive Policy Brief on Advancing Youth Entrepreneurship in Agriculture

The Inclusive Youth Agripreneurship in Africa research project is a joint venture between The Broker and two Dutch knowledge platforms, the Netherlands Food Partnership and INCLUDE. The project's goal is to strengthen the existing research on best practices for youth agripreneurship programs and policies, catalyzing action from policymakers and youth organizations alike. The project was finalized with two innovative knowledge products, both of which are now available for download.

Digital Skills for Youth Employment in Africa

Digitalisation and technological advancements are changing the world of work and the skills needed for employment. In Sub-Saharan Africa alone an estimated 230 million jobs will require digital skills within the next decade offering employment opportunities for its ever growing youth population. However, young people in Africa face several barriers that prevent them to obtain the types of skills required for employment. The evidence synthesis paper published by INCLUDE explores the challenges and opportunities of this digital transformation and presents recommendations of how to equip Africa’s youth for the future of work.

+3
By Ruth van de Velde +3 more
A decent proposal: self-employment for women in Uganda

This blog is part of a case study that examined decent work in the context of the work lives of self-employed and rural women in central Uganda in collaboration with 100WEEKS, a cash transfer graduation programme.