Youth

 

Articles

Impact Stories

New technology and business skills create rural jobs

Bertil Videt
by Bertil Videt

CTA’s PEJERIZ project is applying technology in the field, encouraging mechanisation and coaching young entrepreneurs to create jobs in the rice value chain in Mali and Senegal. Launched in March 2018, the project is already making a difference.

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Impact story

The AgriHack Talent initiative is one of the CTA’s best-known projects, particularly through its AgriHack Pitch start-up support programme. We take a look back on this initiative, which, over the course of just a few years, has succeeded in bringing together agriculture, entrepreneurship and new technologies.

Impact story

A Botswanan start-up is breaking the barriers to digital technologies for rural smallholder farmers. Brastorne Enterprises, a winner of CTA’s 2016 Pitch AgriHack competition, operates a mobile platform called mAgri to improve farmers’ access to information, markets and finance.

Impact story

Sharing actionable knowledge helps to turn ideas into reality. The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) has seen powerful returns from bringing together young entrepreneurial thinkers and doers from all over Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific.

Blog articles

Succeeding as a young agripreneur - Pacific youth speak out

Jana Dietershagen
by Jana Dietershagen

In the Pacific islands, where the population is expected to double by 2050, there is an urgent need for youth to become entrepreneurial and creative risk-takers to help develop innovative, and environmentally sustainable, agricultural economies. But, although more than half of the South Pacific population (10 million) is under 25 years-old, these young people are experiencing problems in entering both formal and informal labour markets. Each year, 16,000 highly skilled Pacific islanders leave their countries for better paid jobs.

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Providing the opportunity for investors to fund a farm, empower small-scale farmers and share in their returns, farmignite is helping to increase Nigeria’s farm productivity, reduce food importation, and increase revenues for farmers and investors.

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Four Senegalese start-ups have received coaching and help in drawing up business growth plans from Ernst & Young (EY), as part of the AgriHack Talent initiative. Here, we look back at a successful pilot project that bodes well for fruitful collaboration among CTA, a leading international consulting firm, and promising new businesses.

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While the history of agricultural cooperatives in Central Africa since the 1980s has been marked by many failures, mainly linked to weak institutional governance and the lack of any economic response to the needs of local operators, the last 10 years have seen the emergence of a much more positive trend. Cooperatives are gradually modernising and becoming more professional. Establishing a farmers’ cooperative and associative movement in this region is a key prerequisite for agricultural development.

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The stage is set for the 2019 iteration of the Pitch AgriHack competition. 20 judges have completed the evaluation of semi-finalist start-ups and have selected the finalists. The judges are industry experts (ICT and agriculture), entrepreneurs and investors coming from Africa and beyond.

Background articles

Offering ICT solutions to meet the specific needs of Ivorian farmers

In Côte d’Ivoire, ICT4DEV, the best Ivorian start-up at Pitch AgriHack 2017, has developed mobile applications to meet the needs of local farmers.

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in Spore Analysis

The rapid evolution of ICTs is providing new opportunities for young entrepreneurs in agriculture. However, there are many hurdles to be overcome before these fledgling agribusinesses become profitable.

News articles

Young women take the lead in Pitch AgriHack

Since the launch of CTA’s Pitch AgriHack Talent Initiative in 2013, over 1 million farmers and agricultural stakeholders have benefited from services provided by start-up companies involved in its annual competitions. Their ICT-based innovations have helped to raise more than €2 million from investors and development specialists.

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in A year in review 2018 News

In many West African countries, the lack of employment opportunities in rural areas has led to an exodus of young people, both to major cities in the region and to Europe. This is a serious loss, as the young offer a potentially dynamic labour force at a time when the agricultural sector is desperately short of workers.

in A year in review 2018 News

Agriculture is the mainstay of Kenya’s economy, employing more than 70% of people in rural areas and contributing 26% of the GDP. However, youth unemployment in the countryside, as well as in the cities, is growing. Some 30% of Kenyans between the age of 20 and 24 are currently out of work. Increasing youth employment in agriculture could do much to address this problem, and it is one of the main aims of CTA’s ‘Youth Economic Empowerment through Agribusiness in Kenya’ (VijaBiz) project.

Interviews

Online platform improves the livelihood of small farmers in Ghana

Michael Ocansey, a computer science specialist, and Francis Obirikorang, a chemical engineer, developed the online platform, AgroCenta, won CTA’s 2017 Pitch AgriHack initiative, which gives youth entrepreneurs an opportunity to develop their business services and accelerate the adoption of their services. In an interview with CTA, Ocansey talks about AgroCenta – which links small-scale farmers and farmer organisations in Ghana with a big online market to improve the prices they receive for their commodities.

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in Spore Interview

Martin Stimela, co-founder of Brastorne Enterprises, which provides ICT solutions for African agriculture, shares his insights on some of the core components that make up a successful business model.

Interview

Forty-six-year-old Karim Sy rejects the label of ‘incubator’, preferring to describe himself as a ‘serial entrepreneur’. Nevertheless, Jokkolabs, his non-profit organisation set up in Senegal in 2010, now has 12 hubs spread in Africa and Europe, and is trying to uncover the African entrepreneurs of tomorrow. Recently appointed to the Presidential Council for Africa by French President Emmanuel Macron, Sy has also been working for several years with the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) through the AgriHack programme.

Interview

Back in March 2015, Togolese entrepreneur Edeh Dona Etchri launched the e-Agribusiness platform to connect people and organisations across the country’s agriculture sector. It has proved a vital source of information for otherwise isolated farmers and is helping to grow the sector nationwide. The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) worked with the founder to help him expand and market his business. Today, there are around 6,000 farmers across Togo using the platform.

Scientific Articles

Young agripreneurs create markets for farmers in the Congo

To encourage value addition of cassava and provide employment opportunities for local farmers, women and youths in the Democratic Republic of Congo, young entrepreneurs have established eight processing centres across the country.

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in ICT Update Technical scientific article

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Young innovators in Africa, the Caribbean, and Pacific region, have recognised the need for creative solutions to raise agricultural productivity and the huge prospective market for their ICT-enabled services in agriculture. Although they still face many challenges, their products have the potential to transform agricultural value chains in developing countries.

Events

AgriHack Talent

CTA’s AgriHack Talent initiative aims to strengthen ICT innovation in agriculture, as well as to stimulate youth entrepreneurship. AgriHack is a key part of CTA’s focus on supporting youth involvement in agriculture and youth employment.