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Sustainable Development Goals
Agriculture is the single largest employer in the world: the sector employs about 60 percent of workers in less developed countries.
About 70 percent of all child labour is found in agriculture, affecting more than 100 million children.
Farmers themselves are by far the largest private investors in primary agriculture.
One third of all international migrants are youth in the 15-34 age group.
Less than 20 per cent of agricultural workers have access to basic social protection.

Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all

Better, more secure and varied jobs are urgently needed in rural areas where most of the world’s poor live and work. Agriculture is the world’s single largest employer, especially in developing countries where it generates a sizeable share of GDP. But the majority of workers, particularly youth, hold precarious and poorly paid jobs in the informal rural economy, a situation that often causes them to migrate to urban areas where labour markets are often already saturated.

Food and agriculture can help solve the employment challenge. There is a largely untapped reservoir of farm and non-farm employment opportunities in agriculture and beyond - in agri-food chains linked to sustainable agriculture, agri-business development and related support services.

FAO supports countries develop policies that generate decent jobs in rural areas, increase access to finance and investments for smallholder producers, help strengthen technical and entrepreneurial capacities, and improve working conditions and labour standards, particularly for youth, women and migrant workers.

Find out more

FAO Publications

The State of Food and Agriculture, 2012

The State of Food and Agriculture 2012: Investing in agriculture for a better future shows that farmers are the largest investors in developing country agriculture and argues[...]

FAO work on decent rural employment

Over three quarters of the world’s poor live in rural areas and many of them depend on agriculture to earn a living. The majority of rural workers hold precarious and poorly remunerated jobs in the informal rural economy [...]

Migration, agriculture and rural development

What will be needed to realize the vision of a world free from hunger and malnutrition? After shedding light on the nature [...]

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