The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), in partnership with the Dutch government, has launched the Youth in Agribusiness: Enabling Scaling of Innovative Technologies for Sustainable Food (YAS). This project is in line with the Dutch government’s agricultural priorities and the multi-annual country strategy (MACS) to assist Nigeria in diversifying its economic growth and job creation via a sustainable and inclusive agri-food sector. The project contributes to the Netherlands government’s strategy for sustainable food systems and nutrition security and reaches SDG2 by 2030. YAS will provide opportunities for 10,000 Nigerian youths in three states and the Federal Capital Territory.
The project targets youth between the ages of 18-35 years on existing technologies, sector-specific business development, and climate-smart agricultural innovations. The project enables young people to set up their full-scale production and service facilities that address the unemployment of youth, meet the most urgent needs of farmers, and contribute to the development of agriculture.
YAS recognizes the role of youth as drivers of Nigeria’s agri-food system, economic growth, and scaling of technologies and innovations. Considering the obstacles to youth’s meaningful participation in agriculture, this project creates a pathway to agribusiness through capacity development and provides the necessary support for access to inclusive markets, investors, and coaching and mentorship for its target beneficiaries.
YAS is implemented in partnership with Bopinc for inclusive innovation and agribusiness models, marketing, and distribution tailored to youth needs. YAS contributes directly to the development of an integrated, sustainable food system that aims to increase the production of healthy, sufficient food through the creation of jobs, which aligns with SDG 2 (hunger); achieve food security and improved nutrition; and promote sustainable agriculture, extending to SDG 1, SDG 5, and SDG 12.
We believe that African youths will be the centre of the agro-industry revolution and sustainable food system. We therefore encourage Nigerian youth to seize this opportunity and drive the much-needed change.