Youth participation in watermelon production in Yamaltu-Deba Local Government Area of Gombe State Nigeria
The study was carried out in Yamaltu-Deba Local Government Area of Gombe State in Nigeria. Questionnaires were administered to one hundred respondents (100). Data were gathered on the respondents, socioeconomic traits, the motivation for their participation, the challenges they faced during the production of watermelons and the extent to which young people participated in the production of watermelons. Descriptive statistics such as frequency and percentages were used to analyze data. The majorities (89%) of the respondents were between the ages of 15- 35 years, 69.4% of them were educated and 67% were married. Problems with land acquisition were the respondents, most serious obstacle (82 percent). The main reasons for youth participation in watermelon production were because of readily available market (94%) and high return on investment (96%). The youth had high level of participation (79%). Based on the findings, the respondents, most significant challenge was land acquisition, it is recommended that government make land available through leasehold in order to encourage participation in watermelon production, particularly among youth.
Keywords: Youth, participation; challenges, watermelon