International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)

Helping Youth Agribusiness Keep Pace with Fast Growing Africa

From small towns to big cities, sub-Saharan Africa has the fastest urban growth rate in the world. The continent’s population is expected to double by 2050 with the youth representing 60% of the overall population. The UN Department of Global Communication, for example, projects that for the next 15 years urban growth is set to double for several African cities: Dar es Salaam will reach over 13 million inhabitants and Kampala will exceed seven million.

Tech Savvy Youth with High Social-Emotional Skills Succeed in Agriculture – Study Shows

Saheed Babajide, a young animal production graduate and a manager at a national milk production company in Iseyin, Nigeria, is a beneficiary of the government's youth agriculture intervention programme. But he feels he received almost no training during the three years he participated. 

Policy Inconsistencies and Poor Research Slow Young Farmers in Africa

It is not everyday that a young farmer registers success in his enterprise and vows this is what he will do for the rest of his life. Yet this is the story of Lihle Moyo, a 27-year-old farmer from Gwanda, about 160km south of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second-largest city.

Malawian Youth Wipe Away Unemployment Tears with Agribusiness

After getting tired of searching for employment for seven years, Feston Zale from Chileka area in Malawi’s Southern Region decided to venture into agribusiness.

International Women’s Day, 2021
Removing Barriers to Women’s Leading Role in African Agriculture

Africa’s population will double by 2050 if growth rates continue their trajectory, but the creation of jobs is not keeping pace, with up to five times more young people seeking employment each year as there are new posts to fill. And, on top of this, the COVID pandemic is plunging Africa into its first recession in 25 years.

Successful Crop Innovation Is Mitigating Climate Crisis Impact in Africa

17 February - African smallholder farmers have no choice but to adapt to climate change: 2020 was the second hottest year on record, while prolonged droughts and explosive floods are directly threatening the livelihoods of millions. By the 2030s, lack of rainfall and rising temperatures could render 40 percent of Africa’s maize-growing area unsuitable for climate-vulnerable varieties grown by farmers, while maize remains the preferred and affordable staple food for millions of Africans who survive on less than a few dollars of income a day.

CARE Offers Policies That Engender Success for Young People in Agribusiness

Often cited as Africa’s greatest asset, its youth are also among the most vulnerable and volatile. A large and growing population of talented young people has the potential to drive economic growth and well-being of societies across the continent but, as the African Development Bank warns, current conditions of severe unemployment are translating into poorer living conditions, higher flows of migration, and greater risks of conflict – in short, a social disaster in the making.

Gendering Agriculture so Women Take the Lead in Feeding Africa

Africa’s hopes of feeding a population projected to double by 2050 amidst a worsening climate crisis rest on huge investments in agriculture, including creating the conditions so that women can empower themselves and lead efforts to transform the continent’s farming landscape.

Youth Rural-Urban Migration Hurts Malawi’s Agriculture

As households in Chiradzulu District in Southern Malawi start preparing their farms for the next maize growing season, Frederick Yohane, 24, is a busy young man.

Africa’s Post-pandemic Future Needs to Embrace Youth in Agriculture

Warnings at the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic that Africa could be hit by a wave of up to 10 million cases within six months thankfully now seem unfounded, although it is still far too early to be over-confident.

Post-harvest Losses Becomes Tanzania’s Loss in Youth Farming

As she says goodbye to a group of her friends, Esther Ishabakaki asks whether any of them knows a good tailor who might be interested in joining her newly-opened clothing business. It’s a venture she started three months ago after quitting her farming venture.

Africa’s Youth Scholars Harvest Ideas on the Business of Agriculture

In Rwanda, Benimana Uwera Gilberthe, a scholar and pepper producer, experienced first-hand the challenges of breaking into agribusiness. While in Nigeria, Ayoola Adewale is trying to understand if poultry egg farming will prove a profitable and viable business opportunity to the youth of the continent’s most populous nation. Also in Nigeria, Esther Alleluyanatha is understanding the link between young people leaving their villages for larger cities, the remittances they send home, and the implications on rural livelihoods and agriculture productivity.

Pandemic Lays Bare Africa’s Deficits, but Youth Will Grow the Future

Africa’s frailties have been brutally exposed by the coronavirus pandemic. The virus has reached nearly every country on this continent of 1.3 billion people and the World Health Organization warns there could be 10 million cases within six months. Ten countries have no ventilators at all.

Creating Opportunities to Nurture Agripreneurship among Africa’s Youth

“It is not easy to be in agriculture but you must have the perseverance and you must have the passion for it,” Ngozi Okeke (30), the director of operations at Frotchery Farms, tells IPS during a tour of the company’s factory in Ibadan, Nigeria. For Okeke, passion and patience are pivotal to business success. But she also recognises the need to create opportunities to nurture agripreneurship among Africa’s growing ranks of unemployed youth.

Q&A: Africa Must Innovate its Food Systems in Order to Beat Hunger and Poverty

Africa needs to invest in agriculture by putting more resources into innovative research and development that can boost food and nutritional security, according to leading scientist, Nteranya Sanginga.

Does Africa’s Food Future Really Lie with Young Farmers?

Africa will starve or survive on expensive food imports because it is not growing new farmers, research shows. And the challenge remains among researchers, policy makers, public and private sector actors to get African youth interested in agriculture on a continent where a growing number of people go to bed hungry every night.

Benin’s Agriculture Has a Good Season, But it Wasn’t Easy

Théophile Houssou, a maize farmer from Cotonou, has spent sleepless nights lying awake worrying about the various disasters that could befall any farmer, often wondering, “What if it rains heavily and all my crops are washed away?” or “What if the armyworms invade my farm and eat up all the crops and I’m left with nothing?”

Improving the Lives of Millions of Mothers and Children

It is slightly after 3pm on a hot Wednesday afternoon in Chipata district, eastern Zambia, and a group of women are gathering for a meeting. It is Elizabeth Tembo’s turn to stand amongst the other mothers like herself and share key lessons on nutrition.

Using Climate-Smart Solutions to Promote Peace in South Sudan

Almost a month to go ahead of the traditional rainy season in Gbudue State, 430 kilometres west of South Sudan’s capital, Juba, smallholder farmers are already tilling their land as they prepare to plant purer, drought-tolerant seeds.

Developing Agriprenuers to Save Nigeria’s Youth from Crime

When Lawrence Afere told his parents he was going into farming rather than getting a job in Nigeria’s lucrative oil and gas sector, they swore he was bewitched.

Farmers Secure Land and Food Thanks to ‘Eyes in the Skies’

Six years ago while wondering how best to use her engineering skills, Tanzanian ICT entrepreneur Rose Funja decided to enter an innovation competition. Years later she has turned a digital idea into a viable business that helps smallholder farmers across the East African nation access credit.   

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