IITA Youth Agripreneurs is exploring areas of partnership with the Oluponna Fish Farming and Resource Centre (OFFERCentre) in Iwo Osun State on youth empowerment along the agricultural value chain.
To foster the partnership, the Director General of IITA, Dr. Nteranya Sanginga and the team of agripreneurs visited the OFFERCentre on the 25th of October to understudy the activities carried out in the center and further discuss means of synergizing the various agribusiness skills offered to young people by the two institutions.
OFFERCentre is an Entrepreneurial Development Centre where young people are trained in agriculture, catering, hospitality, and crafts. IITA Youth Agripreneurs is a youth in the agribusiness program where young unemployed graduates are exposed to agribusiness skills in order for them to become self-employed and create jobs for others along the chosen value chains.
Realizing the potentials of working together as a team, the Director General of IITA, Dr. Sanginga stated that the two institutions will work together to assist many young people in achieving their dreams of establishing profitable agribusiness enterprises.
Giving an insight into the activities at OFFERCentre, the Rector of the center, FR. Macarius Olatunji said through a partnership with organizations like Total, Chevron, EKIMIKS etc, the institution has been able to train over 2,000 young people who have also established independent businesses in their areas of specialization.
While also giving an overview of the activities of IYA, Molayo Oweye, a representative of the group stated that IYA focuses on changing the perception of young people about agriculture, exposes them to proven technologies which makes agriculture ‘cool’ and adopts the principle of continuous coaching and mentoring to keep the agripreneurs on track.
Some of the trained youths from the two institutions also took turns to share their experiences, prospects, and challenges during the visit.