This article considers the question of young people’s aspirations in agriculture in light of the renewed interest in the agricultural sector as a viable basis for development in sub‐Saharan Africa (SSA), and the perception that young people’s involvement is important for the success of this project.
Life choices and outcomes are affected in part by aspirations. The nature and formation of young people’s aspirations therefore have direct implications for emerging visions and future models of agriculture to the extent that young people’s aspirations inform the decisions they make in relation to agriculture. The article takes issue with essentialising policy narratives about rural youth in agricultural areas that obscure the diversity that exists within that group. We need to investigate such diversity and its significance for young people’s aspirations. Using the case of the cocoa sub‐sector in Ghana, we analyse how the differences in young people’s backgrounds and experiences with cocoa influences their expectations of the role of cocoa farming in their future.
This article comes from the IDS Bulletin 43.6 (2012) Perceptions and Aspirations: A Case Study of Young People in Ghana’s Cocoa Sector