Supporting the Youth to Thrive in Agribusiness Amidst Emerging Challenges

Thanks to a workshop organized by CORAF, about a hundred young agripreneurs from West and Central Africa benefited from a capacity building in agribusiness management and development, in a context of emerging challenges related to climate change, gender and nutrition.

From July 4 to 8, 2022, the thirty (30) young women and men who physically attended the workshop in Saly, Senegal, and the fifty who participated online, learned concepts that allow them to make their agribusinesses blossom, at the end to foster gender, climate and nutrition-smart technologies and innovations scaling up.

Indeed, “the role of youth in the agro-sylvo-pastoral sector is deemed to be a major stake for agricultural and rural development, given its economic, social and environmental implications,” says Dr. Hippolyte Affognon, Coordinator of the Partnership for Agricultural Research, Education and Development (PAIRED) program at CORAF.

“The desired transformations and changes of family farms to support the acceleration of the economic growth of the States and the improvement of the living conditions of the populations, required a better involvement of young people in this sector considered as strategic for the West and Central Africa region,” underlines Marie Nicole Taha Nkoum, the Agricultural Technologies and Innovations Scaling Project for Increasing the Resilience of Production Systems and Family Farms in West and Central Africa (TARSPro) program Manager.

CORAF organized the workshop through two (02) of its interventions which aim at scaling up technologies and innovations, to help farmers, especially smallholders, meet their challenges and stimulate a sustainable economic growth: TARSPro and PAIRED, respectively funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The training workshop allowed participants to have a better understanding of the local environment and to readjust their strategies accordingly.

“We often make the mistake of wanting to copy exactly the management style of Western countries. However, we don’t have the same contexts neither the same challenges. Thanks to this workshop, I was able to clearly perceive the advantages and the particularities of the West African environment, which enabled me to readjust the vision of my company,” said after the workshop, Mabel Adekambi, a Beninese agripreneur, promoter of King of Soto liquor brand.

Family photo of participants in the face-to-face workshop. © CORAF 2022

For the participants, the gains at the end of the workshop are a better use of information and communication technologies, a mastery of best practices and managerial techniques to develop an agribusiness, and especially the integration of gender, climate change and nutrition issues in agribusiness development.

The training workshop was corroborated by the visit of an agri-food processing unit based in Thiès, for an experience sharing.