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 Obasanjo – “By 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”.