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40,000 Youths To Benefit From IITA Young Africa Works Project

International Institute of Tropical Agriculture’s (IITA) project, says no fewer than 40, 000 Nigerian youths are expected to benefit from its Young Africa Works’ project, established to secure work in agri-food value chains for the next 10 years.

IITA Project Communication Officer, Miss Adetola Adenmosun, said this in a statement issued in Ibadan on Friday.

Adenmosun said in May, the IITA partnered with the Mastercard Foundation to start the Young Africa Works-IITA’s Project, an innovative approach to agribusiness training and start-up for Nigeria’s young people.

She added that the project was developed in consultation with young people, policymakers, educators, and entrepreneurs as part of the Mastercard Foundation’s strategy to enable 30 million young people in Africa to access dignified and fulfilling work over the next 10 years.

According to her, in Nigeria, Young Africa Works aims to see 10 million young people, especially women, in dignified work opportunities by 2030.

She said, “In line with this strategy, the project is designed to advance agribusiness opportunities to over 40,000 Nigerian young women and men.

“This is with special focus on skill development, decent employment, and entrepreneurship opportunities to secure work in agri-food value chains for the next five years.”

According to the statement, the Country Head for Nigeria, Mastercard Foundation, Chidinma Lawanson, said agriculture is among the most viable potential sources of employment for young people in Africa.

She said partnership with IITA would make the agriculture sector more attractive to young people, particularly women by providing skills training in the agriculture value chain for employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.

According to the statement, to kick off the project activities, IITA has launched a call for application to young women and men between the ages of between 18 and 35, living in Lagos, Kano, and Kaduna states.

It added that the training would focus on agribusiness development that would provide young people opportunity to grow their businesses through coaching and mentoring and also learn modern farming and value addition techniques.

“Young people will also be exposed to agriculture product marketing skills, market linkages, and career orientation through job placements and internship opportunities.

“These skills can bridge the gap in establishing viable agribusiness enterprises between youth and potential employers in the agricultural sector.

“It gives young women, 70 per cent of all participants a special opportunity to enhance their participation and adopt entrepreneurship.

“In highlighting women’s participation, the training and the project seek to create productive partnerships between young men and women and apply a gender-based approach to address some of the challenges faced by young women in the agribusiness sector in Nigeria,” it stated.

The statement also quoted the Executive Manager, Young Africa Works-IITA, Mr Aline Mugisho, as saying that participants would acquire business and soft skills that would facilitate their integration into the professional field.

He added that the this year’s training would cover the following value chains: maize, soybean, rice, horticulture, orange fleshed sweet potato, groundnut, aquaculture and poultry.

“There will be no development in Nigeria without the youth, the best way to end poverty is to create opportunities and this is what this project is all about.

“By creating career opportunities and youth-led enterprises, we are planting a seed of change for the next generation.

“It is in this line that the Young Africa Works-IITA project was developed by the youth, for the youth, and with the youth.

“To start an application, applicants should please visit; www.youthagripreneurs.org/young-africa-works-iita, he said and added that “applications are on from between Nov.12 and Dec. 12, 2020.”

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