This article focused on uncovering the background of the youth lamenting unemployment in the presence of agribusiness employment opportunities. A phenomenological qualitative design was employed to generate in-depth information. The sample frame was formed of youth agribusiness clubs from the district agribusiness office. Purposive and snowball sampling was used to recruit participants doing different agribusinesses. Photovoice, focus group discussions, and oral interviews were used to generate data, which was analyzed using content, discourse, and thematic approaches. The data revealed that background factors such as age, educational attainment, and marital status were key factors in explaining youth unemployment in agribusiness employment opportunities. The study found that most youths in rural areas marry soon after dropping out of school, followed by taking up agriculture as a livelihood. Those youth dropping out of school before they turn 18 are considered children and enter agribusiness without the necessary skills. Systematically, they are forced to engage in agribusiness at a very young age, such as 14, in order to survive and to take on family responsibilities. The study recommended the introduction of practical agriculture in primary and secondary schools so that school dropouts at least gain agribusiness skills for self-employment, as well as deploying new ways of reducing early marriages.
Key words: School dropout, youth unemployment, phenomenological qualitative approach, agribusiness, child.
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