Do We Need College Graduates in Agriculture?

Do We Need College Graduates in Agriculture?

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by Leonardo A. Lanzona, Jr.
2009 | Policy Brief Series Vol. 2009 No. 5 | 2 pages
  • Print 1656-8818
  • e-ISSN 2599-3917

Although there is little doubt that highly educated workers earn higher wages in the modern sector, the question of whether education raises farm productivity remains a contentious one. Recent evidence indicates that years of education have risen across many countries, including India, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines [Asian Development Bank (ADB), 2008].

Furthermore, the greater availability of more qualified workers relative to new jobs appropriate to their level of education may in turn have led to the employment of overqualified people in comparatively low-skilled jobs. One recent study concludes that, human capital, particularly of the highly skilled kind, is not a critical constraint to growth (ADB, 2007). As applied to agriculture, we may ask: Does a college degree have any value? Or is a high school diploma enough?