Home About Nigeria Innovation Career Development Consulting.Advocacy Contact


Advancing the future of Agriculture in Africa -2

IITA Youth Agripreneurs, the future of Agriculture? 2

To promote ICT entrepreneurship in agriculture among the youth, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Youth Agripreneurs group runs an incubator programme, trainings, and establishes ICT entrepreneurial activities itself. The incubator programme equips startups to establish profitable businesses that solve agricultural problems using ICT.
An e-commerce platform has also been setup for the sale of agricultural produce for farmers, buyers and others along the value chain.

The impression one gets about IITA Youth Agripreneurs (IYA) is that it has been very effective in using e-agriculture to attract youths to agriculture. Developments have been positive. Young people must take centre stage in farming not for just for transforming and growing the agriculture sector but for sustainable development in Africa. 

Youth unemployment is one the rise and in view of the terribly low proportion of young people in farming, IYA is a welcome development. The youth and ICT entrepreneurship is angle is quite forward looking. Essentially, this innovative group has shown that using efficient tech and the building of capacity, young people can run agriculture as a business.

Moving Forward
There is however a need to increase the local content in the technologies being adopted to ensure sustainability.

Regular monitoring and evaluation is also essential for such a program making such an impact in agribusiness. This is the only way to know if it is meeting expectations and also if it can meet future needs. For example is what is being done about scaling and replicating successful models? It is expected that performance is evaluated periodically.

It is also important that IYA goes beyond its traditional circles to engage with other stakeholders, especially in tech to widen coverage and deepen impact. Inclusion is critical. Engagement is required beyond the usual circles. Open mindedness and willingness to listen to different ideas are critical in this age.

The Digital: Tools Essential, But Culture matters
IYA has realized the importance of using social media and ICT tool to help in building groups of young professionals in agriculture. Already the group leverages such platforms to share relevant information. Monitoring of trending issues in the sector and greater capacity building are all critical. IYA is also advised to improve the level of awareness on its activities. It should be noted as well that the digital era demands that the use of these tools and infrastructure should go along with a culture of responsiveness and action.

For IYA, Young People are the Answer
There is no doubt that young people are change agents required to revive and grow the sector through modern technologies and innovations. The future of agriculture is the youth. IYA is an encouraging and commendable effort towards sustainable agriculture. It is not only a formidable platform of young AgriTech professionals, but can be a wind of change in the agricultural sector.

Jide Awe
Founder, Jidaw


Advancing the future of Agriculture in Africa -1

IITA Youth Agripreneurs, the future of Agriculture? 1

Established by International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), the IITA Youth Agripreneurs (IYA) is an exciting youth-in-agribusiness initiative. Bringing young graduates from diverse backgrounds together as a group, the initiative encourages young people to embrace the business angle of agriculture and harness the potential of e-agriculture in Nigeria and other parts of Africa.

It is one of the enterprising approaches designed one, to reorient the youth towards productive and profitable engagement in agriculture and two, to encourage and facilitate the use of ICTs in agriculture. Sustainable agriculture in Africa demands the active involvement of the youth. But the perception has always been that farming is a domain for old people. A new generation of farmers will apply tech innovation to various aspects of the agriculture value chain. Initiatives such as IYA are therefore avenues to build the capacity of young people in sustainable agronomic practices, and bring attention to ICT and other entrepreneurship opportunities in agriculture.

A Focus on Youth
IYA builds youth capacity by conducting agribusiness incubations and offering training and mentoring to young people. As a result promising collective enterprises have been created. In stimulating the engagement of youth in agribusinesses, the group connects with rural communities who benefit through employment, out-grower opportunities and income generation.

The IYA ICT unit established its own business system which facilitates the adoption of modern farming methods by farmers. This unit has helped to enhance agriculture outcomes by making use of ICT tools, like drones. Drone delivery services adopt the use of drones to capture aerial pictures, produce video documentation of field activities, monitor crop performance, and perform other research-related functions.

Innovative Practice and Activities
According to reports, IYA trains young agripreneurs in Nigeria on the use of a ‘smart tractor’ - a powerful machine that serves farmers throughout the farm production cycle. Fitted with a GPS antenna, local SIM card, hard drive and telematics capabilities, the Smart Tractor is able to connect to the powerful cloud software of Hello Tractor, even in rural environments with low connectivity. IYA earns income through the provision of support services and the delivery of training to entrepreneurs, farmer organisations, and individual farmers.

Jide Awe
Founder, Jidaw

Home About Nigeria Innovation Career Development Disclaimer Privacy Contact