The Minister of Youth in Cote d’Ivoire, Hon. Sidi Tiémoko TOURE and his team, in April, visited the IITA Youth Agripreneurs group in Tanzania to understudy and seek for partnership with IITA on IITA’s youth in agribusiness model. His Ministry, back in Cote d’Ivoire, had selected 20 youths drawn from various regions in his country for the first phase of incubation program with IITA. The incubation was focused on training unemployed youth in agribusiness.
Speaking about the program, the Minister explained that the Ministry aims to rapidly expand it to other regions in Cote d’Ivoire. He added that this guided the selection of youths from various strategic places in the country to participate in the program.
He stressed that once the team members graduate from the incubation program, they would go back to their communities and start their businesses. Some of the businesses, apart from serving as agribusiness centers, will also be used for training/ employing other youths (rural and graduates), and as agricultural produce collection points for small holder farmers.
Hon. TOURE who was at the youth center in Kwembe, Tanzania interacted with the youths to understand the process, cost and profitability of enterprises such as poultry production with emphasis on broilers, layers and animal feed, rabbits (shoes, urine, skin, droppings); cassava (cassava flour); cassava stem multiplication, value addition in soymilk and soy bites, as well as fish farming.
Impressed by how IITA has been able to train the youths and change their mindset about agriculture, the Minister suggested an exchange visit where a team of young people in Cote d’Ivoire could visit the training center in Kwembe to acquire hands-on skills that would be put to use when they return to Cote d’Ivoire. Likewise, he suggested that a similar visit could be done by the agripreneurs in Tanzania to Cote d’Ivoire to exchange experiences with the new team. IITA through its experience with the IYA model will be providing some guidance and technical backstopping on the program.