On the Determinants of Youth Employment in Agriculture: Comparative Analysis using 2003, 2008 and 2013 Demographic Health Survey Data for Nigeria

Seminar Presentation by Dr. George Mavrotas at the Institute of Development Policy and Management (IOB), University of Antwerp, Monday 26 March 2018 (12:30-14:00 - Nile Room, Lange Sint Annastraat 7, Antwerpen)

Nigeria’s population is mostly young. The fast-increasing number of youth in the country in recent years also implies that more jobs will have to be created in the coming years to keep up with this increasing trend. Despite the growing interest in the determinants of youth employment in Nigeria, empirical studies using nationally representative data collected during three different democratic administrations are scarce. The Demographic Health Surveys (DHS) collected in 2003, 2008 and 2013 present a unique opportunity to delve deeper into the determinants of youth employment in Nigeria. Using the 2003, 2008 and 2013 DHS data for Nigeria, this paper presents a comparative analysis of the determinants of youth employment in Nigeria with a particular focus on youth employment in the Nigerian agricultural sector. The econometric results are obtained using both multinomial logistic and binary logistic models. Results indicate that working in the agricultural sector is significantly influenced by gender, age, method of payment, level of exposure to information sources, location, as well as change in political administration. The nature of work that youth engage in is also influenced significantly by age, years of education, literacy, household size and the year of the political administration when the data was collected. Understanding how the labour market functions to increase both labour turnover and overall employment potential is crucial for tackling youth unemployment. Increasing the prospects for youth engagement in innovative entrepreneurial activities and the nature of educational skills that youth possess would also determine the nature of jobs that youth can get in the agricultural sector. Finally, building on youth employment initiatives of previous government administrations by blocking loopholes rather than creating new employment programs as political change occurs would significantly reduce time related youth unemployment in the country, and will further enhance youth employment in the Nigerian agricultural sector.

Keywords: Youth employment, unemployment, agricultural sector, political administration change, Nigeria, DHS

Margaret Adesugba is a Commonwealth Scholar in the School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development at Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK.

George Mavrotas (G.Mavrotas@cgiar.org)  is a Senior Research Fellow in the Development Strategy and Governance Division of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Program Leader of IFPRI’s Nigeria Strategy Support Program, Abuja, Nigeria.