Upcoming Events

AGRF 2015: WALKING THE TALK ON YOUTH AND WOMEN (#AGRF2015)agrf-2015-header

Lusaka, Zambia
29th -2nd October 2015
Organizers: AGRF Partners Groups, Government of Zambia and Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA)

This year’s AGRF is themed: “Walking the Talk on Youth and Women: Bringing Inclusive Agricultural Markets to Life.” This is both timely and apt, as the continent seeks to make the prosperity inherent in agriculture-as-enterprise more inclusive for women and youth. To put this in perspective, Africa’s agriculture has the potential to generate all of the food that is currently imported, valued at US $ 35 billion per year.

This year’s theme was selected in direct response to a call by young people and gender-based organizations who attended last year’s Forum to dedicate a forum to discuss strategies for overcoming challenges affecting them.  We believe that for Africa to fully unlock the prosperity inherent in its agriculture, we must make its value chains work for men, women and youth. Africa must define clear strategies for increasing access to operational finance and to lucrative markets to enable youth and women engaging in agriculture as a business enterprise. This will in turn spur the growth of associated industries, with the net result being more shared prosperity for Africa’s men, women and youth – and a triple dividend of improved food security, increased incomes and employment creation.

Live Stream – http://www.agrforum.com/agrf-2015/livestream/

Gallery/Media – http://www.agrforum.com/agrf-2015/gallery-media/

Why an AGRF? – http://www.agrforum.com/agrf-2015/why-an-agrf/

Click here for more information


banneriinnerKenyatta International Convention Center (KICC),                                                 Nairobi, Kenya
28th -30th September 2015

Theme: Catalyzing the sustainable transformation of Africa’s agriculture through Agribusiness Incubation: towards job and wealth creation, food security and poverty reduction.

This conference aims to create awareness about the opportunities that are available in agribusiness incubation and agribusiness sector for start-ups, SMEs and established agribusiness ventures. This will play the role of a platform where exchange of information on best practices and lessons learnt in establishing both agribusinesses and incubators , improving agribusiness education including sharing the agribusiness curriculum developed by ANAFE will be shared. The Agri-Business Incubation Conference will provide a platform for knowledge sharing on agribusiness and incubation, will create networking opportunities for all the stakeholders in agribusiness incubation and build capacity of current and future incubation managers, policy makers and other agribusiness stakeholders . Overall, it shall also promote the African Agribusiness Incubation Network (AAIN) and its activities.

Click here for more information

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Group photograph; Professor Alphonse Emechebe (sitting; 6th from right), Dr Emmanuel Sangodele (sitting; 5th from right), Dr Kamia (4th from right), Mr Quadri Shakiru (6th from left), IITA Youth Agripreneurs (lemon green shirt) and Borno State Youths (Blue shirts)

IYA under N2Africa-to-Borno project on September 16, 2015 concluded a training workshop for 20 young men and women from southern part of Borno State on entrepreneurship skill development and sustainable agronomic practices.

The workshop themed “Agribusiness – Key to Productive Youth Engagement”, which started on September 7, 2015 at IITA, Kano Station featured resource persons from 2 international institutes; International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), IITA Youth Agripreneurs and Federal government agencies; Bank of Industry (BOI), and Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).

The workshop started with a welcome address/presentation by Dr Emmanuel Sangodele, N2Africa Country Representative who described the goal and objectives of N2Africa in Nigeria and Borno State, and encouraged the trainee participants to show affinity to new skills and knowledge that will enhance their self-dependence in agriculture.

Training on Agribusiness Marketing
Training on Agribusiness Marketing

Explaining value chain on groungnut, soybean and cowpea
Classroom activity on value chain analysis

Visit to catfish enterprise; explaining the local techniques.
Visit to catfish farm: Adesanya Omotomiwa explaining the locally-fabricated equipment used in catfish production

Mr Aliyu Adinoyi showing one of the post harvest machines (grinder) for groundnut processing
Post-harvest mechanization: Mr Aliyu showcasing the locally-fabricated post harvest machines for groundnut

Click here for more pictures from the training workshop

Different sessions during the workshop which included; Post harvest mechanization; ICT in Agribusiness;  Agribusiness Marketing; Safe and Effective use of Pesticides; Introduction to Entrepreneurship; Micro Small and Medium Scale Enterprise;  Cowpea, Groundnut and Soybean Production; and Farming Systems enabled the trainees identify various value chains of interest and to set up business enterprises around them.

At the end, the trainee participants were lectured on how to write a bankable business plan for their respective agribusiness enterprises.

According to the trainee participants, the workshop has not only changed the outlook of agriculture for them but has also exposed them to the opportunities inherent in agriculture especially along the value chains of various crops and fishery.

The trainees speak:
blogpost pic 2Jummai Sikta:
I like the fact that agriculture has a lot of value chains. Before now, I never wanted to do agriculture because I didn’t like going to the farm, but now I can still be involved, all I need is to be an actor different from the producer along a value chain.

Danjuma Mallim: I have learned the appropriate ways of applying herbicides. I have learned the best practices to put in place especially for groundnut, soybean and cowpea.

Dorathy Balami: I like the experience of the IITA Agripreneurs and how they have imparted knowledge especially when it comes to marketing products using the 4 Ps (Product, Promotion, Price and Place) in Marketing.

Samson Jibir Wakawa: I now know the basic steps to follow when establishing an agribusiness enterprise. As an entrepreneur, idea and money are not just the things you need, planning is very important to succeed as a business owner.

Participants with their certificates
Trainee participants with their certificates

At the end of the workshop, the trainee participants expressed gratitude to N2Africa for the great privilege to participate in the program and promised to put into practice the knowledge and skills acquired during the training.

Additional link

IYA, SLU explore possible collaboration (#IYA_SLU)

A group photograph of IITA Youth Agripreneurs and SLU students

Students of Agricultural and Rural Management at Swedish University of Agriculture (SLU) in Sweden were on an exchange visit to Nigeria to explore areas of partnership with the IITA Youth Agripreneurs (IYA) in Ibadan between 18- 25 August, 2015.

The partnership which is part of IYA’s objective to gain momentum and upscale agriculture by providing jobs for young, well-educated persons in the agricultural sector is expected to widen the horizon of both groups on adoptable modern agronomic practices and mechanization.

During an interactive session between IYA and the SLU students on Thursday, August 20, 2015, the two groups shared their experience on agribusiness, mechanization, value addition and also challenges encountered by young agripreneurs in the agricultural sector.

Giving a background of IYA, a member of IYA, Evelyn Ohanwusi stated that members of the group have been able to increase their level of productivity and income through the various staple crops and value addition of their commodities. She also gave an insight of how each unit of the organization operate and complement each other’s effort across the agricultural value chain.

Ohanwusi Evelyn, while facilitating the interactive session

Stressing that agriculture although is very profitable, would be more fascinating to youth if modern technologies and mechanization are available and accessible.

Also giving a presentation of their activities, a representative of SLU, Richard Karlsson said after graduation from the institution, many of them become farm managers, advisor for banks, crop production, insurance etc.

SLU students (Standing); Richard Karlsson (Far left), Kim Eriksson (2nd from left), Charlotta Ydren (2nd from right), and Christine Sanden (Far right)

He stated that the younger generation of farmers in Sweden has been able to make a difference in the agriculture sector through education and the use of modern farming technologies.

“Your network of knowledge in school gives you higher chances of income and profit when running your own field because you’ve learnt know what to do and how to do it better. Starting the farming business is not easy in Sweden as well because the machines are quite expensive. Getting a market for your produce is another challenge faced by farmers in Sweden too” he said.

The SLU students; Richard Karlsson, Kim Eriksson, Charlotta Ydren, and Christine Sanden who were accompanied by Prof Teun Dekker, Mr Torsten Horndahl, Larssson Jan from their institution also visited IYA fields and facilities and some other agribusiness enterprises within the South West metropolis of Nigeria during the visit.

Young people vouch for agriculture to fight joblessness

Members of the Tanzania Youth Agripreneurs pose for a group photo as they prepare to plant vegetables in their greenhouse

8 August was  United Nation’s Youth day to create awareness on the importance of  engaging youth politically, economically and socially which is  essential for the achievement of  sustainable human development.  We speak to a few of the young people engaged in Agriculture at IITA to hear their  experiences and views on how to engage young people in agriculture and research.

Veronica Kebwe, chairlady of the TYA

“TYA members are now well equipped with agribusiness entrepreneurship skills. Currently we are producing/processing high quality cassava flour, soy milk/yoghurt, making various food products from cassava, growing tomatoes and providing weed management service through safe use of herbicides.

IITA support to Tanzania Youth

IITA is currently running a program to empower youth to use agriculture as a tool to tackle youth unemployment across sub-Saharan Africa through training and by supporting them to carry out various agribusinesses. The program, IITA Youth Agripreneurs, was launched in 2012 at IITA Headquarters in Ibadan, Nigeria. In Tanzania, the program started in January 2014 at IITA’s Eastern Africa hub in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and is supervised by Adebayo Abass, IITA’s Value Addition Specialist at the hub.

The group is currently engaged in processing soymilk, high quality cassava flour with the brand name Mpishi Mkuu, selling maize, and growing tomatoes. The group is also benefiting in participating in youth programs across the world, and members are exposed and linked with potential development actors within and outside the country.

IITA is also constructing a training center at a cost of US$1.5 million at Kwembe (about 25 km from Dar es Salaam City center) to equip the youth with skills in production and processing and running successful agribusinesses.

Get full article from IITA Blogs

SLU students visit IITA Youth Agripreneurs (#IYA_SLU)


Following the visit of a representative of IITA Youth Agripreneurs, Olaide Jinadu to Swedish University of Agriculture (SLU) Sweden in May 2015, to initiate a potential collaborative process between the organisation and the institution, the students of Agricultural and Rural Management of the institution are set to pay an exchange visit to IYA in August.

The scheduled visit to IITA, Nigeria which is from August 18 – 25, 2015 is to foster possible collaboration between SLU and IYA. During the visit, the students will interact with the IITA Youth Agripreneurs in Ibadan and also visit some farms and other agriculture institutions in the south west zone of Nigeria.


For further reading:

Young Agripreneurs in Africa seeks cooperation with SLU students

IITA Youth Agripreneurs’ blog

IYA and its Capacity Development method


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Capacity development is one of the major services rendered by IITA Youth Agripreneurs. IYA builds the capacity of young entrepreneurs into professional agribusiness enterprise owners. We facilitate the establishment of solid and thriving agribusiness enterprises, while developing the strong-wills of entrepreneurs into a self-sustainable one.

Our focus is based on, but not limited to the designing and facilitating of the following training modules.

  • Entrepreneurship development
  • Project Administration
  • Financial Management in Projects
  • Leadership and Business Management skills
  • ICT in Agribusiness
  • Proposal development
  • Post-harvest Mechanization
  • Crop production and farm mechanization

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How we do this

IYA adopt the use of systemic approach to build the capacity of our trainees. The use of this approach help builds sustainable skills and knowledge of our clients majorly young farmers who intend to establish self-sustaining agribusiness enterprises. This can be done through the following:

  1. Needs Assessment Analysis for prospective trainees
  2. Define the goals, objectives and content of the training program
  3. Program design
  4. Facilitate the program: some of the major methods used during program facilitation:
  • Brainstorming to identify new ideas and explore attitudes
  • Case Studies to identify solutions based on real-life situations
  • Debates to explore different points of view
  • Demonstrations to explain or teach skills
  • Discussion to share knowledge and explore options
  • Field Trips to give practical experience and to learn about identified subjects on the field
  • Lectures to convey information in brief periods of time
  • Reflection to debrief sessions and to conduct evaluation
  • Role-Plays to identify solutions and to engage participants
  • Simulations to identify solutions and to engage participants
  • Videos to provide visuals and aid learning
  1. Program Evaluation

Our experience so far

For about three years, IYA through partnerships with private, public and international organisations has carried out a well-defined training program for youths in Nigeria and across Africa, particularly at few IITA hubs and stations.

  • We have collaborated withN2Africa project to train youths from the southern part of Borno State on “Sustainable agronomic practices and Entrepreneurial skills in Agribusiness. Click here to read more
  • We have trained youths from Cross-Rivers State Click here to read more.
  • Under the High Quality Cassava Flour project of IITA, IYA has trained about 100 youths.
  • Training of 80 National Youth Service Corp members.

Please feel free to contact us through Facebook or Twitter for any further enquiries.


Announcing key workshops to mainstream youth in agriculture and private sector engagement in future CGIAR work

youth-in-agricultureThe areas of youth in agriculture and private sector engagement were highlighted in CGIAR’s new Strategy and Results Framework (SRF) as topics that require further development and coordination.

However, the Consortium Board decided not to call for expressions of interest for Youth or Private sector platforms as part of the CRP 2nd call for Pre-Proposals, but instead to organize workshops to work out in more detail how best to approach ‘mobilizing youth in agriculture’ and ‘scaling up Public Private Partnerships’ in the new CRPII portfolio.

We are happy therefore to announce workshops on each of these topics will take place in September 2015, bringing together experts to identify the most effective way to achieve impact through youth in agriculture and private sector engagement in line with the SRF targets. They are being organized by CGIAR Centers experienced in these areas along with key partners, and supported by the Strategic Partnerships team of the Consortium Office.

For ‘youth in agriculture’ IITA has developed a number of interesting activities, including its Youth Agri-Preneur Program, so IITA in partnership with the African Development Bank and the CGIAR Consortium will lead this activity, which will have a first meeting 8-9th September 2015 in Montpellier and a planned follow-up meeting in April 2016 at the African Development Bank. See more details below.

For ‘private sector’ the Netherlands Ministries of Foreign and Economic Affairs kindly offered to convene a meeting on 21st September 2015 in the Hague. The World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF), which has a wide variety of private sector initiatives, will co-organize the meeting with the Netherlands and the Consortium. See the more details below.

Why a focus on youth and private sector engagement?

The rising demand for food (including more nutritious and varied foods), feed, fiber and fuel by a growing and more prosperous global population brings the opportunity to undertake research to support the optimal configuration of agribusiness value chains that deliver greater value and opportunities for young people.

There is also the critical importance of forging dynamic partnerships at each stage of the R&D or policymaking process, including stronger links with business partners to reflect the increasing role of private sector research and innovation in global agriculture. Working in partnership with the private sector can unlock new investment, technology and “know how” to accelerate the translation of science along the R&D pipeline for delivery and impact at scale. New opportunities exist for co-investment and the establishment of Public-Private Partnerships, but more importantly the formation of new networks that can stimulate innovation to tackle global challenges more urgently.

To maximize CGIAR’s contributions in these areas, we recognize the importance of coming together to identify the most effective way to achieve impact in line with the SRF targets. It was decided that workshops on youth and private sector engagement would be convened in the third quarter of 2015 to identify the opportunities and approaches, and to support the integration these essential thematic areas into the full proposal phase.

Details on workshop on youth in agriculture

The details of the workshop are as follows:

Why: With growing numbers of disenfranchised youth around the world and a strong focus on finding opportunities for their engagement and employment, CGIAR is committed to finding ways to approach the topic and planning appropriate activities, especially through its second generation of research programs.

What: This workshop intends to define the key issues to be addressed and to explore and identify good approaches to promoting youth engagement, employment and enterprise that can be integrated into the work of CGIAR. Through learning from internal and external experiences and ideas, the workshop will define realistic outcomes, priorities and activities as well as identifying necessary partnerships.

When: 8-9th September 2015

Where: CGIAR Consortium Office, Montpellier, France

Who: IITA, AFDB and the CGIAR Consortium are hosting the meeting and will be bringing together organizations and individuals with expertise and experience in working with youth engagement, enterprise and employment, particularly (but not exclusively) in agriculture.

We look forward to supporting these important workshops.

If there are any questions or suggestions please contact us at partnerships@cgiar.org

Originally published at CGIAR

IITA Youth Agripreneurs and SLU explore partnership

IITA Youth Agripreneurs (IYA) and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) are set to explore areas of collaboration. This was set in motion known after the visit of one of the members of IYA to the institution, hosted by the students in Agrcicultural and Rural Management.

Olaide Jinadu presenting at SLU Ultuna on 25 May. Photo: Malin Planting

Olaide Jinadu, who represented the group on 17-26 May, 2015 gave 2 presentations during her visit.

Please read more from this article; “Young Agripreneurs in Africa seeks cooperation with SLU students


IYA’s 9th Edition Newsletter

IITA launches Makueni Youth Agripreneurs

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DG-IITA, Dr Nteranya Sanginga with some staff of the Management team and IITA Youth Agripreneurs at the launch of Makueni Youth Agripreneurs in Kenya

As part of its vision to engage youths in agriculture with clear indications of ending youth unemployment in Africa, the IITA Youth Agripreneurs (IYA) on 10th of March 2015, launched the Makueni Youth Agripreneurs (MYA).

…continue here

CGIAR Consortium CEO visits IITA Youth Agripreneurs

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CGIAR Consortium CEO, Dr Frank Rijsberman with the IITA Youth Agripreneurs at the new Agriserve building

The Chief Executive Officer of CGIAR Consortium, Dr Frank Rijsberman said the IITA Youth Agripreneurs program was a good example of what the Consortium could adopt when focusing on youth.

Dr Rijsberman who visited IYA office during the Humidtropics conference at the IITA headquarters in Ibadan said he was impressed by the activities of the youths which also had strategies built around the Consortium’s new strategy.

…click here for full story

Nigeria launches program to support youths in agriculture across the country

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nigeria, Dr Akinwumi Adesina with the IITA Youth Agripreneurs in Abuja during the ATASP-Phase 1 launch
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nigeria, Dr Akinwumi Adesina with the IITA Youth Agripreneurs in Abuja during the ATASP-Phase 1 launch

The Federal Government on Friday, 6 March 2015 launched the Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Program (ATASP-Phase1) towards attracting private sector investment, reducing post harvest losses while adding value to local agricultural produce.

Addressing stakeholders at the launch of the initiative in Abuja, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina said the project would cushion the costs of infrastructure while promoting agric value chain development of four Staple Crop Processing Zones to be implemented in Enugu, Anambra, Niger, Kebbi, Sokoto, Kano and Jigawa States. He said the program would add an additional 20,000 metric tons of key commodity crops per year while creating 200,000 new jobs for young people.

…click here for full story

IYA diversifies to pig farming

Olaniyi Ajibola at the pig pen of the IITA Youth Agripreneurs
Olaniyi Ajibola at the pig pen of the IITA Youth Agripreneurs

The IITA Youth Agripreneurs have diversified into piggery production. IYA will be producing “low fat” pork meat for its consumers.

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IITA Kalambo Youth Agripreneurs to replicate model among Catholic parishes

Catholic Archbishop of Bukavu, DR Congo, Msgr Francois Xavier Maroy during his visit to IITA Kalambo Youth Agripreneurs’ office
Catholic Archbishop of Bukavu, DR Congo, Msgr Francois Xavier Maroy during his visit to IITA Kalambo Youth Agripreneurs’ office

The Catholic Archbishop of Bukavu, Msgr. Francois Xavier Maroy has called for the replication of IITA Kalambo Youth Agripreneur (IKYA) project in all the Catholic parishes of Bukavu. Msgr Maroy who stated this during a courtesy visit to the IKYA processing centre in Bukavu said the replication would help in engaging other unemployed youths in the area.

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IITA Tanzania Youth Agripreneurs adopt the use of new technology

IITA Tanzania Youth Agripreneurs setting up the screen-house for vegetable production
IITA Tanzania Youth Agripreneurs setting up the screen-house for vegetable production

The IITA Tanzania Youth Agripreneurs (ITYA) have adopted the use of screen house technology in their vegetable production.This development which is part of ITYA’s recent activity will be used to protect tomatoes against pests, diseases, and unfriendly climatic conditions that affect yields.

continue here

IITA Youth model excites Ghana high Commission

The Ghana High Commission team and the IITA Youth Agripreneurs
The Ghana High Commission team and the IITA Youth Agripreneurs

Ghana High Commission has described the IITA Youth Agripreneurs initiative as one worthy of emulation.

Ghana High Commissioner to Nigeria, H.E. William Azumah Awinador Kanyirige stated this when he recently paid a courtesy visit to IITA Youth Agripreneurs office in Ibadan.

…continue here 

Some members of the newly launched Makueni Youth Agripreneurs working on the Kibuezi farm
Some members of the newly launched Makueni Youth Agripreneurs working on the Kibuezi farm

Activities have commenced at the Kibwezi farm of the Makueni Youth Agripreneurs.

The land which is a property of the University of Nairobi was acquired after a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between IITA and the University.

…click here for full story

IITA Agripreneur to participate in 2015 Mandela Washington Fellowship

Eric Sika, a youth agripreneur from IITA Kalambo Station, has been selected to participate in the 2015 Mandela Washington Fellowship for young African Leaders from 19 June 2015 to 6 August 2015. Prior to this fellowship, Eric graduated from the Catholic University of Bukavu with a bachelors degree in agronomy. The fellowship is a flagship program of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). The selection was keenly contested by a large number of youths across Africa. Eric, having been selected, will study business and entrepreneurship for six (6) weeks at the University of Winconsin-Stout.

click here for full story

IITA Youth Agripreneurs move to new building

The new Agriserve building
The new Agriserve building

The IITA Youth Agripreneurs have relocated from their former office at the FAO Yard to occupy one of the wings at the newly constructed Agriserve Building. The state-of-the-art building, which is set for commissioning soon, is the first of its kind in the history of IITA.

… click here for more

THE #AgribizChats


This is #AgribizChats: Facilitating solutions to youth unemployment.

The issue of youth unemployment has caught the attention of both the local and international bodies. Government, private and public institutions have come up with initiatives to tackle the menace. One of such initiatives is the IITA Youth Agripreneurs. The IITA Youth Agripreneurs (IYA) initiative was IITA’s contribution in stemming the tide of unemployment. IITA under the leadership of the DG, Dr Nteranya Sanginga believes that by reorienting youth towards more productive engagement in agriculture, unemployment will become history. Although involving youth in agriculture reflects hope for unemployed youth but there are several issues and challenges in achieving this. For suggestions and contribution in tackling these challenges, join us on #AgribizChats. This is a platform for facilitating solutions to youth unemployment through e-discussions.

What is #AgribizChats?

#AgribizChats is the first Twitter chat platform of IYA that will provide our audiences the opportunity to share and receive tips for topics relating but not limited to youth development and entrepreneurship most especially in Agriculture and Agribusiness.

How will the topics be chosen?

IITA Youth Agripreneurs will brainstorm and decide on the best topics to discuss at a particular period of time. We will also take into consideration at every time, feedback from all participants. The feedback would help in determining the topics.

How do I participate in #AgribizChats?

We enjoin you to be part of the conversation by following our official Twitter handle, @IITAYOUTHAGRIP. You will also get updates on the latest news and events about IYA. For questions and responses, tweet us on twitter hashtag:  #AgribizChats so you can be seen and heard.

Why should I participate in #AgribizChats?

As we continue to reorient youth towards active engagement in agriculture, the discussion will not be limited to the challenges faced by youths on unemployment, we would jointly proffer solutions to the problems surrounding these issues and other related issues. However, it is important for individuals, youth groups, organisations (local and international) and other stakeholders to get involved as joint discussions will help generate strong, important and useful ideas.

You have something to add to this article? Share it in the “comment box below”.