ITs IITA, ITs IITA Youth, Its IITA Youth Agripreneurs, Its IYA and Its IYA’s 2nd Anniversary


Wondered how IITA Youth Agripreneurs’ group was formed?

Far back in August 2012,

Director General, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Dr. Nteranya Sanginga – “We need a kind of private sector and these youths could be a source of that private sector which is really going to be the future of most of the countries in Africa, and in creating their own employment, in creating their business that can even employ lots of people who are without jobs. So this is really a program which is going to show how that can be done from IITA point of view”.

And since then, both the national and international organisations and bodies have shown great interest in this program.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina“Today, I have a bigger dream than myself and that dream is that the future millionaires and billionaires of Africa will come out of Africa’s richest resources which is Agriculture. They will not just be millionaires for themselves or billionaires for themselves. They will literally lift hundred of million people out of poverty. That can only happen with Agriculture as a business, that can only happen when we have young people getting into Agriculture as a business”.

Board of Trustees, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Dr. Ngongi Namanga“As a translation into action of the declaration of year 2014, as the year of African Agriculture and Food security, I suggested that a program should engage 1 million young people, men and women of 10 million hectares of our vast land resources for 10 billion dollars and in 10 years. Of course, it was production based, if we include the Agribusiness part into that, it would be much bigger program, probably, maybe double 20 billion. Everybody will laugh at the figure, 20 billion! For African Agriculture? For Agribusinesses? Of course, where will they get the money they will say! But most of that money is already in Africa. Our banks are full of money …”.

The President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, Dr. Kanayo Nwanze“Farming is a business; it’s a profession, a dignified profession, so we have to change our mindset. They (rural farmers) are the primary first and foremost private sector in any community. When farming is seen as a profession and you can pull out your card… it is an income generating business so that youth can be attracted to it”.

Former President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun ObasanjoBy the year 2050, they say we would be 10 billion on the surface of the earth, how can we get jobs, except in Agribusiness, and you see the foundation of Agribusiness is Agriculture”.

West Africa Coordinator, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr. Jacob Mignouna“We at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are strongly committed to lifting 30 million smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa out of poverty by 2030, this can be achieved and this can be achieved by young people in Agriculture and Agribusiness using the modern and efficient tools for production”.

And now the AGRIPRENEURS have this to say –

“We have decided to take up Agriculture as a business simply because we believe without any iota of doubt that AGRICULTURE IS THE FUTURE”.

Few Hours to IITA Youth Agripreneurs’ 2nd Anniversary


Its exactly 1 year, 11 months, 30 days and some hours when DG, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Dr. Nteranya Sanginga initiated the group, IITA Youth Agripreneurs after an inspirational charge given to the then youths by the president of IFAD, Dr. Nwanze Kanayo.

On the 28th of August, 2012, the then youth corp members working at various units at IITA came together to form a group with common interest in Agriculture that could establish a business enterprise which would solve the pressing issue of youth unemployment. The group has since then faced several developmental challenges that gave the group opportunities to advance from being a youth group into forming a youth institution.

According to Akinyele Bankole, the Coordinator of the institution, “Thursday 28, 2014 would be a day to mark the 2nd year of the group’s existence and also a day to recap the key achievements, state of progress and the key challenges the group has faced and is likely to face in the past 12 months and the coming months respectively”. It is in this concluding 2nd year year of existence, the group started exploiting the value chains of Fishery and vegetables and has since been viable.

Additionally, Ohanwusi Evelyn, “the group has received recognition from both national and international bodies over the past 12 months and we are happy to tell the world tomorrow that indeed Agriculture is the future”.

The major goal of the group is to re-orient youth into more productive engagement in Agriculture through expanded opportunities in Agribusiness, service provision and market-oriented Agriculture in a way that offers secondary benefits to the larger communities.

Are IITA YOUTH AGRIPRENEURS really achieving their major goal?

Are they meeting up to the levels of their objectives?

Can they pin-point “anything” to encourage more youths into Agriculture?

These and many more would be revealed tomorrow August 28, 2014 when the IITA Youth Agripreneurs would celebrate the 2nd Anniversary.

IITA Youth Agripreneurs plan to train Borno youths in Agribusiness

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IITA Youth Agripreneurs under the N2Africa–to-Borno project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) has organised a 3-week intensive training for Borno state youths which seeks to generate employment opportunities that will enable the formation of pioneer models for youth engagement in agribusiness in the state. This is in partial fulfillment of the objectives of the N2Africa phase II project which states to deliver and disseminate, sustainable input supply, and market access. The training project will pioneer models for youth engagement in Agribusiness in this part of Nigeria where job opportunities are also scarce.

Borno state is located in the north-eastern part of Nigeria and has a population of above 4 million as at the last population census accounting for approximately 3 percent of Nigeria’s total population.

Agriculture is a key sector of the state as majority of the people are farmers, herdsmen and fishermen and IITA Youth Agripreneurs have identified this as a tool to transform the livelihood of their people particularly the youths. “The training will be second of its kind in the history of IYA after the training of youths from Cross River state“, Bello Oluwatobi revealed, and the major goal is to enable youths increase their knowledge in sustainable agronomic practices and develop their entrepreneurial skills in agribusiness to promote self-dependence and inspire the replication of the IYA model.

Read full program here