The Impact Of Agribusiness And Opportunities On Employment Of Young Africans (A Case Study Kano State)

Project and Seminar Material for Agricultural Science Students

The Impact Of Agribusiness And Opportunities On Employment Of Young Africans (A Case Study Kano State)


An efficient agricultural sector would in no doubt enable a country to generate employment opportunities. The dynamism of the agricultural sector is undoubtedly a springboard for youth empowerment towards a sustainable socio–economic development of any nation.

This study asserts that the agricultural sector is the key driver of sustainability in most developed nations of the world. Specifically, this paper focuses on the pivotal role of agriculture in the initialisation of sustainable development through agro business in Kano state of Nigeria. Thus the underlying motive of this work is to alert policy makers in Nigeria on the need to focus on exploiting the enormous opportunities provided by Agribusiness, in an attempt to eradicate youth unemployment towards the achievement of sustainable development.

Table of Content

Chapter One:


  • 1.1 Background of the study
  • 1.2 Statement of the problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the study
  • 1.4 Research questions
  • 1.5 Significance of the study
  • 1.6 Scope of the study
  • 1.7 Limitation of the study
  • 1.8 Definition of terms
  • 1.9 Organizations of the study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the study
  • 3.3 Sample size determination
  • 3.4 Sample size selection technique and procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of data collection
  • 3.7 Method of data analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the study
  • 3.10 Ethical consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References

Chapter One


1.1 Background to the Study

The global community has been relentless in its effort at furthering the course of humanity in all dimensions, especially in the aspect of efficient resource management to ensure progress in the improvement of conditions of living since the whole essence of natural endowment and technical advancement of any kind is towards human satisfaction or values. Paradoxically, human beings, being the end beneficiaries of the values that accrue from efficient human resource management are also part and parcel of the resources to be managed since they constitute initiators and participants in the feat of development or progress that engenders the necessary values. However, there is no part of the global community that has been able to engage its entire people that are willing to work (participate in the process of development). This is to say that unemployment is sparsely present in all countries of the world. Despite falling unemployment levels in developed economies like Europe (7.1 percent in 2014 to 6.7 percent in 2015), global job crisis is not likely to end, especially in emerging economies in view of the continuous high rates of unemployment World Wide as well as chronic vulnerability of employment in many developing economies (ILO,2016). The final figure for global unemployment in 2015 was estimated to stand at 197.1 million to reach 199.4 million as well as 1.1 million likely to be added in 2017 (ILO, 2016). The significant slowdown in emerging economies coupled with a sharp decline in commodity prices is having a dramatic effect on the world of employment (Ryder, 2016); many working women and men are having to accept low paid jobs both in emerging and developing economies and also, increasingly in developed countries, and despite a drop in the number of unemployed people in EU countries and the U.S.A, too many people are still jobless (Ryder, 2016).

The foregoing is not unconnected to the fact that agricultural potentials have not been fully exploited across the globe; the sector account for a comparatively small share of the global economy, but remains central to the lives of a great number of people. In 2002, of the world’s 7.1 billion people, an estimated 1.3 billion (19 percent) were directly engaged in farming, but agriculture (including the relatively small hunting fishing and forestry sectors) represented just2.8 percent of overall income (World Bank, 2012) as cited in Alston et al (2014). It is therefore indicative that there is huge potential to be exploited in agricultural sector which most countries have realized and are taking the path through agricultural development.

Nigeria, despite its enviable riches, both in human and material resources is woefully caught in the web of unemployment crisis. It is worrisome that Nigeria which occupies an area of 923, out of which 82 million hectares are arable lands, has 140,431,790 people as at 2006 as revealed by the 2006 population census and an estimated current population of 187 million as revealed by United Nations ( is still being ravaged by poverty largely because of increasing rate of unemployment.

Despite the simplicity of the Agribusiness sector, its broad nature makes it difficult to define (Baruah 2000). David and Goldberg (cited in Baruah pg 2) describe agro business as a three-part system made up of the agricultural input sector, the production sector, and the processing / manufacturing sector. According to this definition, Agribusiness is a combination of these three sectors. Consequently an attempt to conceptualise Agribusiness will only be meaningful from the perspective of an integration of these component sectors.

Obst, Graham, and Christie (2007) describe agro – business as activities involving production, processing and distribution of agricultural goods and services and all related activities. It is important to conceptualise agro – business from this broad perspective, in an attempt to explore the enormous opportunities presented by agro – business, in consistence with the goal of this study. Therefore for the purpose of this study, the definition of Agribusiness as described by Obst, Graham, and Christie, will be adopted.

The recent focus on agriculture by the Nigerian government as a cultural sector that has the capacity to boost the economy, and also create a wide range of employment opportunities shows an indication of the recognition of agro – business as a reliable platform for sustainable development (El-rufai 2011). The fact that agriculture still accounts for a major part of the total employment in Africa suggests a strong linkage between agrobusiness, and sustainable development (Adesina 2008).

The relative attractiveness of the urban centres made many able-bodied Nigerians to migrate from the hinterland abandoning their farmlands for the cities and hoping to partake in the growing and prosperous (oil-driven) urban economy, thereby leaving very few and insignificant number of persons in the sector. This marked the beginning of exponential increase in the number of unemployed youths due to congestion and unnecessary competition for scarce jobs in the urban centres. The situation is now dire as the global price of crude oil and its much vaunted fortune has abysmally declined.

Kano State, just like every other state in the country has the problem of unemployment. In fact, Kano state is said to be one of the top nine states on the list for unemployment rate (NBS, 2014).

To facilitate the various dimensions aforementioned, the state government partner with Benin Owena River Basin Development Authority(BORBDA), Freisland Campina, International institute for tropical agriculture (IITA), Pacts, Bank of agriculture (BOA), Nestle, First Bite Foods, Agbekoya Farmers Association for the role of provision of land and agricultural equipment, seed multiplication/capacity building, dairy development, cocoa development, agricultural equipment financing, contract farming, supply of production inputs, on farm development and training respectively. The state government also provided or made provisions for incentives to ensure effectiveness. This include tax break to new industries in the sector, grants, equipment, etc. This study therefore, sought to evaluate the impact of agribusiness and opportunities on employment of young Africans. case study kano state.

1.2 Statement of the Research Problem

Amidst all the social, economic and political problems that are endemic in Kano state, joblessness that has become more pervasive in the name of unemployment is the most precarious due to the fact that it cut across various age demographics. To this end, it is the youths that ultimately feel the scourge; over 52% of youths in Kano state are unemployed (Kano State ADP outline, 2013). This means that more than half of the youth’s population in Kano state do not have any tangible job that could make them contribute meaningfully to the economy of the state. The aforementioned statistics by the state agricultural development programme outline (2013) are buttressed by the national situation as revealed by the National Bureau of Statistics (2012) when it reported that 54% of Nigerian youths were unemployed.

Kano state had a worrisome situation of high unemployment rate of 11.4 percent, 11.5 percent, 20.8 percent, and 12.1 percent in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 respectively as reported by NBS(2012) because the agricultural sector of the state’s economy was characterised by inadequate private sector investment which was necessary to expand employment opportunities, low productivity which reduced the capacity of the sector to engage increasing number of people as a function of efficient demand and supply reactions, inappropriate policies that did not contain the right strategies such as mechanization technology to promote expansion of agricultural activities, and poor government investment ( Kano state Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources,2013). These were the problems in respect of unemployment in Kano state economy before the initiation of Youth commercial agricultural development (intervention) programme.

The state’s government reaction to the foregoing situation became inevitable since the agricultural sector’s operation had a very weak private sector participation and invariably low morale of the individual farmers. This reaction was not just in the context of policy thought but also strategic intervention through three major approaches. These include provision of agricultural incentives(such as equipment and grants), empowerment of the unemployed people by giving them training on various agricultural occupation (such as arable crop production, livestock production, tree crop production, aquacultural production, processing and marketing) and collaboration with private organizations to facilitate the empowerment and promote industrialization in the agricultural sector to increase the number of occupational opportunities the sector could offer. The said empowerment training manifested under the youth commercial agricultural development(YCAD) programme while other public and private entities such as BORBDA, Freisland campina, IITA, HVA international ,Pacts, BOA, Nestle, First Bite Foods, Agbekoya farmers association and Afe Babalola University for the role of provision of land and agricultural equipment, milk collection, seed multiplication/capacity building, diary development, cocoa development, agricultural equipment financing , contract farming, supply of production inputs, on-the farm development and training respectively.
Despite all efforts and mechanism, the agricultural sector in Kano state seem not to have expanded to create significant number of employment for the youths in Kano state; the youth employment in Kano state in 2014 and 2015 was 11.6 percent and 11.9 percent respectively (Kano state youth empowerment and social support operation, 2016). This situation seems not to be significantly better than when the agricultural programme had not been implemented. Hence the question: what is The Impact Of Agribusiness And Opportunities On Employment Of Young Africans in Kano State?

1.3 Research Questions

The study is geared towards answering the following questions:

  1. To what extent has agribusiness reduced unemployment in Kano state?
  2. Has the public/private partnership on agriculture reduced unemployment in Kano state?
  3. To what extent has the provision of agricultural incentives in Kano State attracted the unemployed people in Kano state to agricultural businesses?

1.4 Objectives of the Study

The major objective of this study is to evaluate the extent to which the level of Agribusiness in Kano State created employment and invariably reduced the incident of unemployment vis-à-vis the extant agricultural potential of the state. Accordingly, the specific objectives are to;

  1. Ascertain the extent to which Agribusiness has reduced unemployment in Kano state.
  2. Examine ways through which public/private partnership on agriculture has reduced unemployment in Kano state.
  3. Ascertain the extent to which the provision of agricultural incentives in Kano State has attracted the unemployed people in Kano state to Agricultural businesses.

1.5 Significance of the Study

The increasing rate of unemployment is a phenomenon that requires corrective effort and the required effort or solution has to be multifaceted to involve every sector of the Nigerian economy; there has been a disproportionately high number of researches on how the non- agricultural sectors could be improved to generate employment with dominant emphasis on the development of technical skills and artistry competence which is pivotal for the industrial and manufacturing sectors inter alia (Ajayi 2013). However, the aforementioned skewedness in the approaches used to tackle and reduce unemployment has not made the desired impact. Hence, this study is a tool for increasing awareness of employment opportunities in the agricultural sector and particularly the primary subsectors.

Furthermore, it has been discovered globally that government alone cannot shoulder the burden of massive development that is required in any sector of a nation’s economy due to changing circumstances in administration and complexity of governance as well as sporadic oscillation of revenue that occurs from resources that constitute the mainstay of the national economy. Hence, there is a need for a complementary approach to foster development. The public/private partnership which is already a functional and applied mechanism for development in other sectors of Nigerian economy needs to be institutionalized and utilized in the agricultural sector. This study provides a blue print for the foregoing; public/private partnership in agricultural development involves technical arrangements such as peculiar pattern of role specification which is different from what is obtainable when applied to other sectors of the economy. The study therefore provides the peculiarity of public private partnership in agriculture to policy makers for application in other locations where it has not been applied to harness agricultural potentials. This will also address the problem of continuous food importation into Nigeria despite the large expanse of arable lands the country has; the government has been making effort via the instrumentality of purposive policies to ensure self-sufficiency in food production (Ogbe, 2016). Most of these policies seem not to have achieved the central purpose of sufficient food production for Nigerian population. This has left both the government and the governed (the people) wondering why it is so. To this end, this study unravelled the shortcomings of government policies and programmes on agriculture and provides policy inputs towards a better agricultural expansion and productivity.

1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study

The study covered a period of five years, 2011-2015. This is due to the fact that 2011 was the time conscious and tangible effort towards agricultural development and expansion began in Kano State by the state government in which agricultural prospect of the state was sought to be leveraged upon as a means of engaging the teaming and increasing unemployed youth and the tempo was maintained throughout to 2015 which was the period a new administration actively began and introduced another approach of agricultural development with technical replications but practical difference. Hence, to avoid incompatibility of data on approaches of agricultural development by different administrations that could distort presentation, the study did not wish to extend its scope beyond 2015. In 2014, Kano state economy contracted and the state hardly paid salaries to its workers thereby making agricultural jobs not just the interest of the unemployed but also the last and dependable resort of deprived workers. The study examined the nature and trend of agricultural development within the period stipulated as well as possible prospect of agricultural expansion vis-à-vis the effect on employment.

The mechanism of unemployment reduction within the purview of agricultural development in Kano State which the study sought to explore had to do with the three dimensional approach adopted by the government which include youth commercial agricultural empowerment, public/private partnership and incentive system or provision. This was because there was a need to evaluate the effect of the programmes for consequent establishment of the prospect. The limitation of this study hinged on the process (methodology) and the content. The process in context (involving field survey) used in the course of the study engendered the problems of relative difficulty in reaching some of the interviewed respondents and gaining their confidence as well as high financial obligation which in most cases the researcher had to borrow to augment what he had. On the other hand, the content of the study as informed by the scope did not extend to the determination of whether the employments created were full employments or under employments. To this end, the study did not establish the extent to which the programmes have reduced poverty which is seen as varying function of unemployment and underemployments.

1.7 Operational Definition of Concepts


According to the National Bureau of Statistics (2015), employment is a situation whereby a person is engaged in the production of goods and services thereby contributing to the Gross domestic Product (GDP) in a legitimate manner, which is a component of the national account and receives any form or amount of money for that activity.

In this study, employment refers to the situation in which people work to produce products or offer services for which payment is made.


Agriculture is the practice of cultivating the land breeding and keeping of livestock (Clayton 1989, cited in Ajayi, 2013).

In the context of this study it also include processing and marketing of the products. Hence, it is defined as the practice of cultivating land and rearing of livestock to earn a living as well as every other activity that promotes benefits there from.


Fajana (2000) in Emeh, (2012) sees unemployment as “a situation where people who are willing and capable of working are unable to find suitable paid employment.

In this study, unemployment is conceived as a situation where willing and capable people are not engaged in any economic activity that brings them income.

Unemployment Reduction:

This is defined as a situation whereby significant number of willing and capable people who had no job become engaged in agricultural activities that earns them income as a result of conducive environment that promote private investment, empowerment, and support for agricultural enterprises.

Agricultural Development:

Ajayi (2013) defined agricultural development as a comprehensive radical change that is effectively and purposively manifested in the agricultural sector through the instrumentality of viable policies and programmes.

This study in its context extensively defined agricultural development as the visible presence of pro agricultural policies/programme(empowerment training, incentives provision, and public private partnership) and the transformative effect on the economic life of the people.


According to Morton and Montgomery (2011), empowerment is a form of intervention that regularly involves people as partners and participants in the decision making processes that determine program design, planning, and/or implementation.

This study conceived empowerment as the act of organizing and coordinating an extensive training for the unemployed people in the various aspects of agriculture such as arable crop production, livestock production, aquaculture, nursery/tree crop, processing and marketing to enable them have occupation in agriculture.


According to Cooke et al (2011), incentives are tools or instruments that can be used to encourage people to change behaviour in a prescribed manner.

This study conceived it as facilities and/or equipment which include grant, tax break, loan, subsidized cost of land, and tractors that are intended to galvanize interest and commitment to agricultural occupation.

Public / Private Partnership:

Public/Private partnership is a long term contract between a private party and a government entity for providing a public asset or service, in which the private party bears significant risk and management responsibility ( partnership).

This is defined in the context of this study as a contractual synergy between Kano state government and organizations that are not owned by the state whereby specific roles are taken by the government and each of the organizations in order to expand job opportunities in agriculture.

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

This chapter presents as summary of findings made in the course of the study vis-à-vis what the study entails as well as the resultant conclusion and recommendation that serves as remedial elixirs that will help to tackle some of the challenges to ensure future prospect if implemented.

5.2 Summary

The study assessed the impact of agribusiness and opportunities on employment of young Africans. case study Kano state with the major aim of finding out the extent to which the level of agribusiness development under study created employment and invariably reduced the incident of unemployment vis-à-vis the extant agricultural potential of the state. The analysis carried out in the cause of the study indicated that the agribusiness has significantly reduced unemployment in Kano State as shown by the study on the selected local government areas.

The public/private partnership on agricultural development enhanced employment generation in the kano state but to a large extent only for participant or direct beneficiaries of the programme. In addition, the study also revealed that the provision of Agricultural Incentive significantly attracted the unemployed people into agricultural jobs or activities.

5.3 Conclusion

Amidst all the agricultural development programmes in Kano state the Youth Commercial Agricultural Development programme could be seen as a litmus test for the much vaunted prognosis of the perceived potential of the agricultural sector to reduce unemployment by providing plethora or variety of occupations in agriculture. The youth commercial agricultural development programme and the auxiliary policy mechanism (public private partnership on agriculture and agricultural incentive) that were used to boost and harness the employment capacity of agriculture in Kano state were purposive and considerably pursued with vigor. The various arms or branches of the agricultural development programme yielded varying results of impact on unemployment reduction. Therefore, with the fact that all the sub-sections of the agricultural development yielded positive results, there is no gainsaying that the programme was a considerable success. It reduced unemployment during the time it lasted particularly among the youth in kano state.

5.4 Recommendation

In view of the major findings of this evaluative study, the congruent elixirs towards ensuring the prospect of agricultural employment via the replication of the programme as well as the expansion of the agricultural sector a follows.

  1. Equal attention and focus should be given to all the approaches or arms of the agribusiness.
  2. Agricultural development for the purpose of employment creation should always target or be concerned about the multiplier effect or chain of beneficiaries and provision accordingly instead of being concerned or preoccupied with the registered participants of beneficiaries of the programme alone. In other words, the multiplier effect should properly be taken into cognizance and promoted. .
  3. Role designation to private partners in any integral aspect of agricultural development programme that has as its essence the creation of Jobs should be to organizations or partners that have the evident capacity of generating jobs. This will prevent idleness and ineffectiveness of private partners.
  4. Agricultural incentives that are made available in the course of any organized or coordinated agricultural programme for employment should not be made to be the exclusive right of the privileged participants but should be open and accessible to all irrespective of being within or outside the coverage of the programme (i.e. being a trainee or non-trainee).
  5. The budgetary allocation to agricultural sector in a time when there is purposive and massive programme in the sector should be progressively and incrementally sustained. The proportion of allocation funding to agriculture should be a significant chunk (25%) of the total budget.

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