According to the study, very few young people consider working in agriculture as a career aspiration; many see agriculture mainly as a backup option. They perceive agricultural work to be physically demanding, high risk and not very profitable. The cite different barriers that include low income, poor soil quality, low agricultural productivity, high cost of inputs, difficulties accessing land and lack of new techniques with climate change underpinning this negative view. The findings show that most youth entering agriculture are self-employed and work as small-scale farmers. Young farmers, therefore, need skills to run their farms as businesses and must understand how the market functions to meet market demands and increase their bargaining power.
The study found significant challenges including lack of access to quality education and training programmes. There is also limited support and information available to youth to help them make good decisions. These challenges add to other poverty and structural problems of the agricultural sector in Cambodia. Reversing this situation requires a sustainable enhancement of the education system as well as the provision of appropriate training services to ensure a successful school-to-work transition, the authors conclude.