ASSESSING THE FUTURE OF AGRICULTURE IN THE HANDS OF RURAL YOUTH IN ORIADE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF OSUN STATE, NIGERIA
The study examined the perception of rural youths toward Agriculture as a profession in Oriade local government of Osun State. Data for the study were obtained through interview and structured questionnaires administered to one hundred and twenty respondents. Findings revealed that majority of the respondents (81.7%) were young and vibrant falling under age bracket of 15 – 25 years. However, only 2.5% of the respondents were into farming while many of them engage in various types of business. The findings further showed that majority of the respondents were secondary school leavers and this accounts for 40%. Although 80.8% of the respondents were of the opinion that farming can be considered as business but still have a negative perception about farming as a profession considering the grand mean value of 4.06 of those that said farming work is tedious and does not bring daily income, agriculture is for old people, making a choice of career in agriculture is tantamount to choosing to be poor. Access to loans, land, infrastructures, etc. also indicated negative perception of respondents in the study area. Based on these findings, it is recommended that land should be made available to rural youths; it will still be of good advantage if the government can help in the provision of farm machineries and basic social amenities like adequate water supply, good electricity, good road network linking rural-urban areas so as to facilitate efficient marketing of agricultural products.
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