STEP holds Agri-competition to attract young students to agriculture
The Innovative Youth in Agriculture (I-Youth) project, implemented by IITA in partnership with Mastercard Foundation Young Africa Works, is extending agribusiness training to secondary school students in Kano, Kaduna, and Lagos states.
I-Youth, through the Start Them Early Program (STEP) component of the project, over the last 18 months, devised several approaches towards attracting students to participate in various activities organized for them to learn modern agriculture in schools and identify career opportunities in the sector.
STEP in I-Youth adopted the hybrid model, which focuses on using the younger youth as agents of agricultural transformation within the school system and in the communities in which they live. The approach is all-encompassing, with students, parents, schools, and the communities benefitting from the opportunities offered by STEP.
This approach incorporates e-learning using audiovisual materials for foundational agriculture training and practical learning by establishing pilot enterprises at the schools and community levels. STEP also integrates extracurricular school clubs and youth outreach services through visits to successful agribusiness enterprises and firms, student competitions and debates, school farm open days, etc.
The student competition tagged “STEP Agri-competition” is the first of its kind in Lagos State and has become popular as I-Youth prepares to hold the competition’s final stage in March 2022.