Climate and jobs for rural young people.

Published online
23 Jul 2020
Content type

Brooks, K. & Dunston, S. & Wiebe, K. & Arndt, C. & Hartley, F. & Robertson, R.
Contact email(s)

Publication language
Africa & Africa South of Sahara & South Asia


Climate change matters for all young people. It matters especially for those whose livelihoods depend on agriculture and will continue to do so in the future due to slowing growth in labour-intensive manufacturing and constraints on labour absorption in the service sector. Of the slightly more than 500 million rural young people projected globally in 2030, two thirds will be in sub-Saharan Africa and in South Asia. In many African countries farming still employs over half of a rapidly growing labour force, and the absolute number of agricultural workers is still rising (although the share of the labour force is falling with structural transformation). Where agriculture is called upon to deliver job security as well as food security, vulnerability to climate change presents major risks for the large numbers of young job-seekers. Adaptation to climate change is feasible, and options will increase as new technologies and management approaches come onstream. Adaptation requires proactive planning and investments in relevant infrastructure and agricultural science. Strategies for job creation in highly affected countries must accord more attention than is the case at present to agriculture, both on the farm and in the food system.

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