Agricultural education and youth farm entrepreneurial intention: evidence from selected folk development colleges in Tanzania

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Sokoine University of Agriculture


Education is widely acknowledged as a transformative tool for any desired human behaviour. Similarly, agricultural education and training has been a pivotal tool in improving productivity and efficiency in the agricultural sector. However, its outcomes in terms of graduate alignment to farming entrepreneurship is questionable since majority of youth graduating from agricultural colleges have shown limited interest in engaging in farm related enterprises. Besides, disinterest in farm related enterprises prevails in the face of serious youth unemployment and government initiatives in agricultural training and the agricultural development in general. This study sought to address this apparent paradox. The study involved three Folk Development Colleges (FDCs) - Mamtukuna (Kilimanjaro) Monduli (Arusha) and Chisale (Dodoma) purposively selected out of 55 FDCs in Tanzania basing on learning objectives and similarity of courses offered. Specifically, the study: (1) identified the type of knowledge and skills provided by agricultural training institutions in transforming youth intention towards farm entrepreneurship; (2) Determined youth attitudes toward farm entrepreneurship as influenced by exposure to agricultural education; (3) Assessed the perception of youth on college social support environment towards intention to farm entrepreneurship; and (4) Determined the relationship between agricultural education and youth farm entrepreneurial self-efficacy. A sample of 300 respondents was randomly selected from the population of final year certificate students in the three colleges. Qualitative data were transcribed by words and summarised into understandable themes. Quantitative data were analysed by both descriptive and inferential statistics. The descriptive statistics included frequencies, percentages, minimum, maximum, mean and standard deviation. Inferential statistics employed include: Somers D model, Mann-Whitney model, Kruskal-Wallis model, Multiple Regression and Structural Equation Modelling. The results of the analysis generally show that agricultural education has significant influence on youth farm entrepreneurial attitude and self-efficacy. Consequently, attitudes, college social support environment and self-efficacy have significant influence on youth farm entrepreneurial intention. It is concluded that agricultural education and training in the study area have both direct and indirect positive influence on youth farm entrepreneurial intention. Regular review, harmonization of VETA and FDC curricula and improving learning environment by modernizing the infrastructure is recommended. Also integrated approaches which involve various farming enterprises’ stakeholders in teaching agricultural courses in FDCs are recommended.


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Agricultural education, Youth farm, Entrepreneurial intention, Folk development colleges, Tanzania