Tag Archives: IITA


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

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.

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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”.

Transforming IITA to nourish Africa

Group Picture of CGIAR Consortium and IITA Youth Agripreneurs
Dr Frank Rijsberman, CEO CGIAR Consortium with the IITA Youth Agripreneurs

My first visit to IITA was in 1982. As a young scientist with the Delft Hydraulics Lab in the Netherlands I worked on my first soil science project that also happened to become my last. I had obtained funding for a project on the impact of soil erosion on soil productivity and I was looking for good data. My research led me to IITA soil scientist Rattan Lal who was among the five scientists I had identified across the globe that had the time series data I needed and he agreed to work with me. My funding enabled me to visit all 5 research groups to see their experiments and go over their data. This was my first visit to Nigeria.

And then we arrived at IITA. Once cleared by security the car started up the long driveway, flanked by rolling hills with bright green grass, cut smooth like a golf course, dotted with picturesque palm trees, painted bright white. The contrast of this oasis of quiet prettiness with the chaotic world outside the barbed wire fence could not be greater. A well-oiled, well-maintained, well-equipped island of advanced research. A small army of well-trained Nigerian staff to support a team of senior researchers that were almost without exception white, male and Anglophone — or indeed, Dutch. Rattan Lal was a fine host, had many years of excellent data, and was a great collaborator for my project (Rijsberman and Wolman, 1985).

Since then, I have visited and worked in Nigeria quite a bit, including a two-year stint as Chief Technical Advisor of a UNDP project to strengthen the Ministry of Water Resources in Abuja in the late 80s. But fast forward to 2012: I rejoined the CGIAR as the CEO of the CGIAR Consortium in May 2012 and started an effort to visit all 15 Centers. In July-August the Consortium Board Chair, Carlos Perez del Castillo, and I visited AfricaRice in Cotonou, Benin and then traveled overland to Ibadan. We were received by the new DG, Nteranya Sanginga, and the new Board Chair, Bruce Coulman and given the grand tour. We met with scientists, discussed the newly reformed CGIAR, enjoyed presentations of the key science groups, saw the laboratories, and hiked the forest.

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Dr Frank Rijsberman, CEO CGIAR Consortium at the Agripreneurs’ office

I was also very impressed by the dynamic presentations and self-confidence of the young graduates in IITA’s Youth Agripreneur program. With unemployment of young Nigerian graduates as high as 60-70%, this program aims to show that there is a future for young Africans in agriculture, that there is viable employment and an attractive career in catfish aquaculture, in soymilk production, yam sucker farms and cassava bread production.

Dr Sanginga, who is the father of this program and naturally very proud of its success, predicts that it can scale up and out, in Nigeria and other African countries —his vision is about a movement to give a future back to millions of African youth through agriculture and the value chains in the agri-food business. The program is just a start and has already attracted attention from IFAD, AfDB, and the Nigerian government. It is a good example of what the CGIAR can do when it focuses on youth—very timely with “gender and youth” identified as a key cross-cutting issue in the new CGIAR strategy.

Written by Frank Rijsberman, CEO CGIAR Consortium

Get the original article on CGIAR Consortium website


Dr Lekan Quadri
Dr. Lekan Quadri (representative of the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Nigeria, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina) delivering the welcome speech

It is indeed my privilege and honour to present this address in this workshop titled Agripreneurial and Business Management Training.

  1. We are all aware of the high youth unemployment situation in this country, like in other nations worldwide, and its consequences on our socio-economic well-being, which fortunately the Transformation Agenda of Mr. President (Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan) is addressing aggressively through the various interventions in different sectors of the economy. Nigeria is an agrarian economy and the fact that for years the country has not given agriculture the right attention due in part to over reliance on oil, is partly at the root of the unemployment problem. To put Nigeria on the right trajectory, the Transformation Agenda has unequivocally recognized agriculture as the sector with the biggest potential for mass job creation and the most viable for poverty alleviation among both graduated and rural youth as well as women.
  2. In 2011 and in recognition of this fact, Mr. President (Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan ) directed that the Agricultural Transformation Agenda, in addition to food and nutritional security, focus on massive job creation for the youth. Accordingly, my Ministry (FMARD) under technical assistance of UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and consultation with youth and other stakeholders, designed and developed the Youth Employment in Agriculture Programme (YEAP). This was followed by its approval by the National Agricultural Council in 2013 and official launching during the 2013 Economic Summit by Mr. President (Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan). The presentation and discussion at these forums was to garner support from all stakeholders, to underscore the importance of issue of youth empowerment in the country and to serve as an advocacy tool for all to contribute to the realisation of Mr. President’s vision on youth empowerment for our dear country Nigeria.
  3. Nigeria is reported to have about 67 million youth, 50% of which were unemployed in 20t1. This was more than double that of Ghana at 25.6% and the national average at 23,9% in 2011, which unfortunately has also been growing by 16% annually since 2007.

       The 1991 census recorded 88 million people as the population of        Nigeria, which doubled by 20 years later to 165 million people.              This means that 50% of Nigeria’s population, or approximately              80 million Nigerians, were born in the last 20 years. This                             population explosion has had a dramatically negative effect on             youth employment as an ever-increasing number of youth enter           the workforce, with limited prospect for employment. There are           simply not enough jobs to keep up with the growing youth                         population.

  1. Ladies and Gentlemen, with our natural endowment for agriculture as you are all aware, Mr. President (Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan) has made it a cardinal pillar in his Transformation policies to address gender inequalities in Nigeria, because with 49% of Nigeria’s population being women, it is smarter economics to address the issue of women empowerment in all our policies and programmes. There are enormous opportunities in the sector for employment and wealth creation for our teeming youth population. Therefore, Agripreneural and Business Management training will be the vehicle that will properly situate our youth – both males and females to seize these opportunities for self-realisation and employment generati on.
  2. Agripreneural and Business Management training, ladies and gentlemen, will provide this nation with the vehicle to change the fortunes of our teeming youth population and by extension the nation. However it requires a collaborative approach and contributions of all from the public to private, civil societies and donor communities to attain the level of success it is capable of delivering. Specifically, I wish to appeal to high net worth individuals, political office holders and the corporate world to channel a large chunk of your Corporate Social Responsibility budgets to upscale or contribute to youth employment in agriculture through support to enabling environment, patient capital windows, revitalization of our extension systems, provision of social safety nets, increase access to productive resources for youth and women especially in the rural areas. These measures will enable our youth and women to unlock and access the employment generation potentials of the sector and set Nigeria on the way to industrialization.
  3. Finally, I want to thank the Management of EKIMIKS NIG. LTD for organizing this event in partnership with IITA.

I would like to use this opportunity to appeal to all our corporate bodies to emulate EKIMIKS NIG. LTD in the nation’s quest to provide a sustainable solution to youth unemployment in Nigeria.

I want to personally acknowledge the immense contribution of the DG IITA (Dr. Nteranya Sanginga) for the youth in Agriculture Initiative that started under his leadership.

Thank you all for your attention.