Empowering African youth and women through agriculture: IITA Youth Agripreneurs’ contribution to a sustainable future

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The challenge of unemployment in African countries is a high-priority issue, particularly for the youth, who make up a significant portion of the population. In response to this challenge, IITACGIAR established the IITA Youth Agripreneurs (IYA) initiative, a youth-in-agribusiness model designed to combat widespread youth unemployment and foster self-employment in agriculture.

In August 2012, the institute convened young people at its headquarters in Ibadan, Nigeria, and launched this innovative agribusiness incubation program. Participants received technical expertise, training, and mentorship, which opened their eyes to various business opportunities across agricultural value chains. Within a year, these young entrepreneurs were managing enterprises focused on cassava, maize, soybean, banana, vegetables, fish, and swine while also exploring value addition and food processing.

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