Young People’s Perspectives on Farming in Ghana: A Q Study
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An emerging orthodoxy suggests that agriculture is the key to addressing the youth employment challenge in Africa. The analysis that informs this orthodoxy identifies a number of persistent barriers to increased productivity; and the programmes that work to get young people engaged with agriculture make assumptions about the young people's interests and behaviours.
In this paper we report results from a study with secondary students in Ghana using Q Methodology. The objective was to determine to what degree the students' perspectives were aligned with the main tenants of the emerging orthodoxy. Results show that different perspectives on the two questions (What explains young people's attitude toward farming? What should be done about young people and farming?) can be identified. There are a number of points of convergence between the students' perspectives and the new orthodoxy. However, two important points of divergence were also identified, and the implications of these are discussed.