Dr Rebecca Bogiri is the Climate Finance Access and Absorption Officer at the Global Green Growth Institute and 2023 Non-Resident Fellow at the Griffith Asia Institute.

As the global population is projected to reach 9 billion by 2050, the youth demographic (ages 15-24) will constitute about 14 per cent of this total. However, employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for youth, particularly in economically stagnant rural areas of developing countries like Vanuatu, remain limited and subpar.

To address these challenges, Dr Rebecca Bogiri has developed a policy brief that highlights the need for tailored interventions to motivate and support youth engagement in agriculture. Dr Bogiri is the Climate Finance Access and Absorption Officer at the Global Green Growth Institute, and was the 2023 Non-Resident Fellow at the Griffith Asia Institute Pacific Hub.

Despite over half of Vanuatu’s population residing in rural areas where key agricultural exports are produced, local farmers struggle to commercialise agriculture due to infrastructural deficits, market access issues, and negative perceptions of agricultural work. Additionally, barriers such as inadequate finance access and insufficient business management skills deter youth from entering the agricultural sector.

“There are few commercial farms, and many farmers producing local fresh produce use small plots or a few hectares of land only,” said Bogiri.

“Youth unemployment and the lack of sustainable rural livelihoods are persistent issues. The country faces high school dropout rates and a formal employment sector unable to accommodate the annual influx of new job seekers.”

Drawing on lessons from successful initiatives in Fiji, the brief recommends developing appropriate training programs, increasing budget allocations for skills development, and leveraging existing networks to enhance agricultural outreach.

Recommendations include:

  1. Develop appropriate agriculture training based on the needs of the sector
  2. Conduct formal and informal training with more emphasis on field practice
  3. Allocate sufficient budget to skills development
  4. Enhance agriculture extension outreach

These strategies aim to transform agriculture into a viable and attractive livelihood for Vanuatu’s youth, fostering sustainable rural development and economic growth.

Developing the agriculture sector through youth entrepreneurship: The case of Vanuatu and lessons from Fiji” is published by the Griffith Asia Institute.

1: No Poverty
UN Sustainable Development Goals 1: No Poverty

8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
UN Sustainable Development Goals 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth