The role of youth in agricultural intensification in Zambia


The majority of the Zambian population depend on agriculture for all or part of their livelihoods. Smallholder farmers dominate the agriculture sector and maize is the main staple crop. Zambia has a young population and 82.1 per cent of the total population is under the age of 35. This briefing explores how and if youth are involved in processes of agricultural intensification and what challenges youth headed households face with respect to agriculture. Surveys of youth who headed their own households were not marginalised in processes of intensification when compared with other age groups, with use of inorganic fertiliser and improved seeds generally increasing as a result of subsidies. Interview with young people within the households of older generations suggest that the primary challenge is being able to access land for farming independently. This research is an output of the Sustainable Agricultural Intensification Research and Learning in Africa (SAIRLA) programme