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This report investigated how to enhance youth engagement in productive employment in farming and agribusiness in Ethiopia. Particularly, it aimed to identify the main success factors in farming and agribusiness, and the main challenges and barriers to entry into farming and agribusiness for youths. Further, the objective of this report was to pinpoint policy interventions that were relevant to support youth in farming and agribusiness. To this end, the report drew on primary data collected from 199 youths in three regions in Ethiopia, namely, Amhara, Oromia and Sidama regional states. The youths were, on average, 28 years old, 39 percent of them were female, and the vast majority of the youths resided in rural areas (92 percent). The findings showed that youth agripreneurs in the agriculture and food sector were not those with less human capital, rather they have comparable socio-economic characteristics as those who were outside of this sector. More than 70 percent of agripreneurs had completed at least secondary or high school education. More than two-thirds of the youths were engaged in farming (crop and livestock farming) and food processing. The findings revealed financial difficulties, lack of land, and poor supply of raw materials as constraining factors youths face while starting and operating business activities. Interestingly, a large fraction of youths reported that they received support from the government, international organizations, or an NGO to overcome these hurdles. Besides, the findings in this report also provided suggestive evidence that differences in wealth and capital assets, family background, and social networks appear to explain the difference in levels of success between successful and less successful agripreneurs. Most notably, agripreneurs reported that they chose the food and agriculture sector not because they had no other option, rather it gave them better income or higher profits than other sectors, and thereby majority of the youth agripreneurs planned to continue in the sector.

This study was published as FARA Research Report 6 (05): Pp 46.