Youths’ social-economic dynamics and the decline in food crops farming in Akoko Region of Ondo State, Nigeria
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Before now, food crops are cultivated on almost all arable farmlands of the entire Akoko settlements area of Nigeria. Food crops were also the second major sources of farmers’ income after cocoa (the major cash crop). Today, over 75% of food crops are brought to this sub-region from other regions. For instance, the bulk of yams, maize, corns, and sweet potatoes originate from Nassarawa, Benue and Kogi. This may be attributed to the fact that majority of the youths have lost interest in food farming and therefore diverted their interest to alternative livelihood. The present study assessed the impacts of youth’s socio-economic dynamics on food crops farming in Nigeria using Akoko area of Ondo State sub-region as a case study. Information for this study was generated through structured questionnaires and personal field observation. Results show that the increase diversion of active youths from farming to alternative sources of livelihoods including bus/car drivers, barbing saloon, mechanics, trade, utility biking to transport people as well as other engagements such as political hooliganism is to blame for the decline in food crops production in Akoko area. Further, failure to take into account the impacts of climate change on farming, lack of stakeholder involvement and low level of public awareness on the importance of food crop farming by grass-root farmers has also disoriented the youth into other activities away from food crop farming. Daily sustenance/earning especially utility biking known as “okada” are now the livelihood engagements among youths in Akoko area. Consequently, the number of food crop farmers has continue to decline since 1990 while the number of okada riders has exponentially increased during 1995 through 2010 providing a source of livelihood to about 21% of the total youth.
Youths , socio-economics , food crop , security and farming , alternative livelihood , Research Subject Categories::FORESTRY, AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES and LANDSCAPE PLANNING
Ayeni A. O. (2013). Youths’ social-economic dynamics and the decline in food crops farming in Akoko Region of Ondo State, Nigeria. J. Agric. Econ. Dev., 2(4): 120-127