The Junior Farmer Field and Life School programme teaches vulnerable children and youth about farming and how to take care of themselves.
Photo: Johannes von Stamm

04.09.2018

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Following last year’s Rural 21 Focus Edition “Tapping the potential of rural youth”, the authors address the concepts of decent rural youth employment and agricultural entrepreneurship to assess how vocational training in Cambodia can enable young people in rural areas to have job opportunities along the agricultural value chain.

Although the main drivers of the Cambodian economy are the industry and the service sectors, agriculture is still its most important sector of Cambodia’s economy, and is fundamental to its development.

Nevertheless, agriculture has a perceivable bad reputation, mainly because working conditions are very poor. Many Cambodians living in rural areas work primarily as unpaid family workers and own-account workers. Child labour in general, but also especially in the agricultural sector, is still a considerable problem in the country. Young people are not interested in working in agriculture and are increasingly turning to other employment opportunities. The accompanying structural change in rural areas has so far not been adequately guided by agricultural policy. Above all, the potential of young people to develop new ideas to shape structural change in rural areas, and particularly in agriculture, is not used.

If the Cambodian economy is to benefit from the agricultural sector, it has to promote, protect and modernise its agriculture at local level.

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