This article uses the example of small-scale, labour-intensive tomato production in Brong Ahafo, Ghana to explore some prospects of young people’s engagement with the agri-food sector in Africa.
Although tomatoes were produced by men and women of all ages, a significant proportion of young men specialised entirely in tomato production, growing three crops per year. Tomato production met short-term capital needs for home-building, marriage, business development and adventure. Young women also engaged in tomato production, although rarely as ‘3-croppers’. A return visit examined the role agriculture played in enabling young people to achieve their earlier life and work objectives. A social-relational approach was adopted, focusing on interdependency and linked lives. Life course analysis highlights shifts that have implications for the changing way people engage in agriculture, rather than assuming that ‘one size fits all at all times’.
This article comes from the IDS Bulletin 43.6 (2012) Quick Money and Power: Tomatoes and Livelihood Building in Rural Brong Ahafo, Ghana