Experts Highlight the Role of Youths in Job Creation (

The creation of business opportunities for unemployed youth in the agricultural sector is at the centre stage of an African wide initiative led by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture.
In his address at the opening session of a three-day business training for young entrepreneurs in agriculture, the representative of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Lekan Quadri, Regional Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), developed his keynote on the links between youth unemployment and the opportunities of an agrarian economy, which would provide “the biggest potential for mass job creation”.
More than 60 participants from six countries across Africa attended the business training, Titled, “Empowering Agripreneurs on Agripreneural and Business Management”, which took place last week at the headquarters of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development further acknowledged that “the immense contribution of the Director General of IITA for the youth-in-agriculture initiative that started under his leadership”.
Director General of IITA, Dr. NteranyaSanginga, started the IITA Youth Agripreneurs-a landmark program that provides youth from diverse disciplines training and opportunities to engage in agricultural business or entrepreneurship. During the opening program, he urged participants to proactively seek synergies for answering needs in the development of youth and agriculture. “The African Development Bank has declared a big interest in partnership engagement for youth and agriculture, the reason why I call upon you for your ideas and support”, he said. He emphasised that he does not see a development in Africa without unemployed youth engaging in agriculture.
Sanginga further explained that inclusive growth of the continent could be achieved through the joint implementation of mechanisms in agribusiness which would work for both farmers and consumers. “A young ‘agripreneur’ coming from a communication background is working with fish now. First, you might think communication and fish?where is the link?… but when you start understanding how sales figures of fish products can increase throughout value chains by involving young people coming from different sectors, such as communication or marketing, it might become an eye-opener for you in engaging in new partnership opportunities.”
A former registrar of the University of Ibadan, Chief Moji Ladipo, spoke on the importance of being prepared for opportunities.
On his part, Chief Executive Officer of Ekimiks Nigeria Limited and sponsor of the workshop, Mr. Ekiyor Tope Miriki, said the program was designed to not only create opportunities but to also help young people exit the unemployment cycle. According to him, with the business survival rate being less than 50 per cent, a business in agriculture is even more demanding due to the economics involved in the process.
To respond to these challenges, the IITA-established Youth Agripreneurs scheme is piloting an approach that consists of young women and men focusing on promoting agriculture among other young people through training and demonstration on agricultural best practices and the value chain in Nigeria. The scheme also supports initiatives in Tanzania, DR Congo, Zambia, Kenya, and Mozambique.
Source: Business