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New forms of agricultural paid labor by peasants in the western region of cameroon: conditions of emergence and implications

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Author: 
Guillaume Hensel Fongang Fouepe and Christelle Djomkwo
Abstract: 

The main objective of this work is to analyze hired labor in agriculture as a social phenomenon by identifying the conditions of its emergence, the reasons why farmers are involved, and the implications in terms of rural development. Fifteen labor markets have been identified in five departments of the Western Region of Cameroon namely: Mifi, Menoua, Noun, Nde, and the Bamboutos divisions. The results of the study conducted in four of these markets with 65 workers and 20 farmers show that 80% of the workers are female; 63% of those workers are aged between 10 and 30 years; 92% have been to school; 46% have completed the primary level and 44% the secondary level. Two reasons justified the engagement of these peoples in the agricultural wage labor: The search of income and their capacity for hard work. Agricultural wage labor is requested by civil servants, employees of private enterprises and agricultural producers. They live mostly in urban areas with farm size ranges between 0.05 and 0.8 hectares. Agricultural wage labor contributes to the development of farmlands, the improvement of living conditions of workers and food security. Moreover, the working conditions are difficult, workers enjoy no social protection, and agricultural wage labor is seen as repugnant. The workers are not taken into account in agricultural policy development.

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