Iita Introduces Youth Agripreneurs Scheme to Boost Employment Generation (allAfrica.com)

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Oyo State, has introduced Youth Agripreneurs scheme where youths from six African countries including Nigeria will be trained on agricultural best practices and value chain.
The institute said more than 60 youth participants from six countries including Nigeria, Tanzania, DR Congo, Zambia, Kenya, and Mozambique would be attending the first business training tagged: “Empowering Agripreneurs on Agripreneural and Business Management” taking place between February 3 and February 6 at the Institute’s headquarters in Ibadan, Oyo State.
According to the Director General of IITA, Dr. Nteranya Sanginga, the creation of business opportunities for unemployed youth in the agricultural sector is at the center stage of an African wide initiative led by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture.
He said the inclusive growth of the continent could only be achieved through the joint implementation of mechanisms in agribusiness, which would work for both farmers and consumers, which he said was why the institute introduced the scheme. He said the IITA Youth Agripreneurs would provide youth from diverse disciplines training and opportunities to engage in agricultural business or entrepreneurship.
During the opening program, he invited participants to proactively seek synergies for answering needs in the development of youth and agriculture. He also said that the African Development Bank has declared a big interest to partner with the youth in agriculture scheme.
“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, emphasizing that he does not see a development in Africa without unemployed youth engaging in agriculture.
Sanginga further explained that the scheme could be embraced by youth from any discipline.
“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,” he counseled. The Representative of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Lekan Quadri, commended the institute for introducing the scheme, which he said would address youth unemployment and also provide the opportunities of an agrarian economy, which would provide the biggest potential for mass job creation.
Chief Executive Officer of Ekimiks Nigeria Limited and sponsor of the workshop, Mr. Ekiyor Tope Miriki, said the program was designed not only to create opportunities but to also help young people exit the unemployment cycle, noting that with the business survival rate being less than 50%, a business in agriculture is even more demanding due to the economics involved in the process.
Source: Business