Agricultural intensification and youth in Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia


The AFRINT IV project has been collecting data as part of a longitudinal study on agricultural intensification in Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia since 2002. To explore generational patterns in agricultural intensification AFRINT IV identifies 3 age groups: farmers aged 18-35, 36-64 and farmers aged 65 and above. In this briefing the authors focus on the younger generation of farmers up to 35 years of age. Policies in all 3 countries recognise the key role young people play in national development. However, they are also recognised to be a vulnerable group due to lack of access to land, unemployment and poverty. The findings suggest that with regards to maize yields, only the sampled youth in Zambia show a positive trend while yields have stagnated among the sampled farmers in Malawi and Tanzania for all age cohorts. By contrast, youth have taken a central role in the intensification of rice production in the Tanzania, the only country sample where rice is produced. Youth have also been disproportionally affected by decreasing farm sizes, and that they lack agricultural inputs such as fertiliser and improved seeds. This research is part of the Sustainable Agricultural Intensification Research and Learning in Africa (SAIRLA) programme