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Investments in young people curb rural migration in the Dominican Republic
Sunday, 2019/08/18 | 07:25:11

FAO Story, August 2019

 

It is often said that young people are the future. However, when we talk about rural youth, the reality is that not many see a future in agriculture or in their places of origin. Lack of access to land, technology, credit or productive resources push many rural youth to consider migration, often to urban areas, as their only option to achieve a better future.

 

But agriculture has great potential to reduce poverty, especially in developing countries.

 

In the Dominican Republic, young people between the ages of 20 and 24 have the highest unemployment rates in the country at 25.5 percent. The situation is worse in rural areas, especially on the borders with Haiti.

The stories of these six youth could have been other examples of that exodus. However, they had the opportunity to stay in their communities and become entrepreneurs.

 

These young people had innovative ideas, but they needed credit and technical support to put them in place. All of them are were part of the Strengthening of Decent Rural Employment for Young Women and Men in the Caribbean project, which FAO and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) launched to help young entrepreneurs develop their business plans in their home towns.

The area’s largest livestock suppliers

 

Osmaro Sánchez lived his entire life in the municipality of El Llano, in the province of Elías Piña, on the Dominican border with Haiti. His grandparents owned a farm and his parents worked in agriculture and raised goats and sheep in the middle of a rugged landscape where everything is scarce, especially water.

“Young people have to migrate due to lack of opportunities. There are no jobs and the banks do not lend us money because we have no guarantee. Only agriculture remains, but with drought, those who dare planting can lose everything due to lack of water,” he says.

 

Osmaro raised 30 animals on his farm, but thanks to the grant from FAO and IFAD, he and two other young people bought 22 more animals. Today they have 65. Meat is in high demand in the area since the supply is limited. "We want to become the largest suppliers of livestock in the entire region," they say.

 

Figure: Left: Osmaro and his business partner, Nercy, at their farm where they hope to raise 200 goats and sheep. Right: Eduardito de la Rosa shows a handful of organic earthworm fertilizer. ©FAO/Rosa Borg

 

See http://www.fao.org/home/en/

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