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Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 871; doi:10.3390/su9060871

Realities, Perceptions, Challenges and Aspirations of Rural Youth in Dryland Agriculture in the Midelt Province, Morocco

1
School for Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL, Bern University of Applied Sciences, Länggasse 85, 3052 Zollikofen, Switzerland
2
Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD), c/o GFAR at FAO, Viale Delle Terme di Caracalla, 00153 Rome, Italy
3
Planet H2O®, Conalway, Sarl Doing Business As (DBA) Planet H2O®, 571 Avenue Mohamed VI, Immeuble Mathis, Bloc A, 2ème étage-Souissi, 10000 Rabat, Morocco
4
Royal Tropical Institute (KIT), PO Box 95001, 1090 HA Amsterdam, The Netherlands
5
Agropolis Fondation, Avenue Agropolis, 34394 Montpellier, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Richard Henry Moore
Received: 23 January 2017 / Revised: 9 May 2017 / Accepted: 14 May 2017 / Published: 23 May 2017
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Abstract

Active involvement of youth in agriculture is necessary for sustainable agricultural systems but is currently a challenge in many areas. Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative participatory research methods, this study analyses rural youth’s realities, perspectives and aspirations in dryland Agricultural Livelihood Systems (ALSs) in the Midelt Province, Morocco, with a particular focus on gender. The data collected are an important first step in understanding the target group and working with youth to identify and develop appropriate programmatic interventions to improve their livelihoods and rural futures. Prior to expressing their aspirations for their rural life and career, the youth first raised the issue of unfulfilled primary needs: access to education, potable water, heath care, and lack of infrastructure in their villages. The issue of outmigration from rural areas is controversial and not so widespread. The youth’s dream village is envisioned as a rural place where people have a more comfortable life with their own families, farming better and more sustainably rather than seeking a job in urban areas. To support the youth’s aspirations and their willingness to stay in agriculture, there is a need for infrastructural and regulatory interventions and specific training in agricultural practices targeting and engaging youth. View Full-Text
Keywords: rural youth; Morocco; drylands; rainfed agriculture; irrigated agriculture; pastoralism; migration; youth aspirations; livelihoods; environmental degradation rural youth; Morocco; drylands; rainfed agriculture; irrigated agriculture; pastoralism; migration; youth aspirations; livelihoods; environmental degradation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Giuliani, A.; Mengel, S.; Paisley, C.; Perkins, N.; Flink, I.; Oliveros, O.; Wongtschowski, M. Realities, Perceptions, Challenges and Aspirations of Rural Youth in Dryland Agriculture in the Midelt Province, Morocco. Sustainability 2017, 9, 871.

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