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close this bookPopulation and Agriculture (FAO)
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View the documentActivity no. 1 - The land, our most precious resource
View the documentActivity no. 2 - Spacing children who benefits?
View the documentActivity no. 3 - Let's plan a group agricultural project

Activity no. 3 - Let's plan a group agricultural project

Let's plan a group agricultural project

A group activity to plan and implement an agricultural income-generating project.



Note: One way to help guide the discussion might be to create a chart of possible ideas. A sample format for the chart is presented on the following pages and some possible ideas are included, but it is up to the group to identify ideas which make sense to them.

· The group leader explains to the group members that they will plan and develop an agricultural income generating project.

· The leader asks for suggestions for types of projects from the group members and, if necessary, stimulates the discussion with some of the questions on the following pages. A chart of project ideas like the one on page 28 is then prepared using a large sheet of paper.

· Once the group members have identified a project or projects which seem possible and profitable to them, the leader invites the local agricultural extension agent (whose presence has been arranged in advance and who has attended the early part of the group meeting) to advise the group on getting the activity under way.

· With the help of the leader and the extension agent, the group makes formal plans for their project and also decides what they will do with any profit they may make.


So that group members will be able to:

· Learn about improved agricultural techniques and methods.

· Make actual plans for a specific agricultural income generating activity.

· Become familiar with their agricultural extension agent and the proper means of obtaining information on improved farming techniques and practices.


With what?

Note: This activity will result in the group members planning an agricultural income generating project to work or together. However, the group members should also be encouraged to consider undertaking some of the ideas discussed as part of this activity on their own or with their families

· Advance preparation by the group leader.

· The assistance of a local extension agent.

· Several large sheets of paper on which to write suggestions from group members and the final plans for the group activity.

· The background information and chart (pages 2528).

Some questions to start off the group discussion

1. What crops or animals could the group successfully produce in this area?
2. What supplies and/or inputs would the group need and where could the money to buy them come from?
3. Is there a ready market for the produce?
4. Is it an activity from which the group could expect a year round income, or is it a seasonal product?
5. Is it a perishable product which would have to be sold immediately, or could it be stored and sold over time?
6. How would you se the profits?
7. Would this project be useful for the community?

Some background information for the group leader

What are the challenges facing rural youth in terms

I of agricultural production?

Many of today's rural youth will he tomorrow's farmers. They will have the responsibility for providing the food and agricultural products needed for themselves and their families, and the growing numbers of town people as well. In most areas, rapid increases in population lead to competition for fertile agricultural land, so they will have to meet this challenge with limited land resources. This means that they will need to understand and use improved technologies in order to increase yields without reducing soil fertility.

In many cases, this will mean that young farmers will need to engage in agricultural activities which are very different than those practised by their parents, both in terms of methods and choice of crops. At the same time, these young farmers will need to

I understand that there is no one best solution and that they will have to decide how best to provide for themselves and their families.

Where can rural youth obtain information: arid assistance on improving and increasing: agricultural production?

Where can rural youth obtain information: arid assistance on improving and increasing: agricultural production?

The extension services of the Ministry of Agriculture are a network of locally-based experts who have the responsibility for ensuring that improved agricultural techniques developed at the national level, reach the farmers and that researchers know about farmers' problems. As part of this activity, it may be appropriate for : you, the

As part of this activity, it may be appropriate: for : you, the group leader, to invite the local agricultural extension worker to come and help the members of your group explore and develop ideas. Using a resource person or persons is a good way to make your youth group activities even more interesting.

What special challenges do young women face in agricultural activities?

What special challenges do young women face in agricultural activities?

In Africa, women play a major role in all phases of agricultural production. With the exception of the initial clearing of the land, women are involved in all parts of the agricultural process. They provide much of the labour for planting, weeding and harvesting and they have the major responsibility for the marketing of most produce.

But in spite of this, in the past, women have been given little credit or income for their work and almost no say in agricultural decision-making.

To meet the needs of tomorrow, women must be fully integrated into agricultural development. Women should be encouraged to attend and participate in meetings with agricultural extension workers, and to become full partners in the agricultural activities of the family and community.

Sample chart of ideas for group income-generating activities


Start-up needs

Labour needs

Seasonal year-round


Field crops

· Maize

· Beans


· Tomatoes

· Onions


· Rabbits

· Chickens

· Goats


· Soap-making

· Vegetable drying


· Digging an irrigation ditch

· Digging a well

Booklets in this Leaders Guide Series:

Population and Agriculture
Population, Employment and Income
Population and the Environment
Population and Nutrition
Population and Health
The Family and Family Size
Human Growth and Development
Responsible Parenthood
How the Population Changes
Community Involvement

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Integration of Population Education into Programmes for Rural Youth INT/88/P9