There is increasingfocus on young people and farming at this watershed moment in Africa’s development when agriculture has been “re-discovered” as the fundamental driver of the continent’s economic and social transformation; Poor participation of young people in farming and the agri-economy threatens the future of agriculture and rural economic transformation on the continent.
vision of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) is a deeply exciting one…it is of an agricultural renaissance…
Young people in rural areas, especially the women, are often disadvantaged with low levels education and literacy; often have fewer opportunities for gainful employment in farming and non-farm rural agricultural livelihoods;Fewer chances to obtain capital or credit and assets; not enjoy the benefits of new technology and lack information and technical skills.
Key need is investment in higher education—not just for the agricultural sciences, but for training in business, marketing, finance, policymaking and engineering, to create new generations of professionals who can build Africa’s agro-industrial capacity. There should be a strong focus on preparing an employable society…
AGRA’s unique training strategy is making impressive strides toward producing the next generation of young African plant breeders, soil scientists and technicians adequately prepared to tackle the specific challenges peculiar to Africa’s complex and diverse ecologies…
A significant number of them young men and women, are being nurtured through entrepreneurship training, and mentored through close monitoring by seasoned professionals in business development…
innovative financing options to free up essential credit to support agricultural entrepreneurs many of who are young men and women; includes credit for smallholder farmers, agro-dealers and agricultural enterprises across the value chain. ..
Ngongi The role of young people in Africa’s Agricultural Revolution
The Role of Young People in Africa’s Agricultural Revolution Dr. Namanga Ngongi, President of AGRA at theYoung People Farming and Food Conference March 19-21, 2012 Accra, Ghana
AGRA’s vision- Forward looking …o “A food secure and prosperous Africa through rapid smallholder agricultural growth and transformation”;o An agricultural renaissance, a vision of a food secure and economically prosperous Africa;o Marshaling the capacities of a new generation of agricultural professionals and entrepreneurs across the food/ agricultural value chain;o Acknowledging the potential of young men and women as active agents in the transformation of Africa’s agriculture.
Young people in the agri-economy: Obstacles and constraints• Low education and literacy levels;• Access to assets and financial resources;• Access to extension and vocational training;• Access to agricultural/rural markets;• Exclusion in policy discussions and instituted policies.
Training of a new generation of agricultural professionals
Practical hands-on skillsUniversity of Ghana (WACCI students) Moi University student on farm trialsKwame Nkrumah students planting Haramaya student in the laboratory
Working with FarmersMoi University (Kenya) students and professors working with farmers on farmers fields
Innovative approach to training and extensionprograms 3000 Extension Workers 200 Laboratory Technicians +300 Seed entrepreneurs +300 MSc 132 PhDs
Rural Agro Entrepreneurship – huge potential for young people
New dynamism in the private sector: Africa’s small and medium seed companies
Other opportunities for young professionals• Training, Capacity building and financing in• Post –harvest processing including value addition• Market information• Service provision- tractor ploughing, spraying etc
Innovative Financing Partnerships with Commercial Banks: $160 Million Leveraged into Agriculture– Excess liquidity exists in financial markets• Need to reduce risk of lending to agriculture, especially for young people• Need loan guarantees to leverage commercial banks• AGRA is spearheading successful risk sharing arrangements• to leverage financing for smallholder farmers and young entrepreneurs in Africa – Kenya: $50 million from the Equity Bank – $100 million from Standard Bank (Uganda, Tanzania, Mozamb ique, Ghana) – Nigeria; $300 million for NISARL ($3 billion) – Impact Investment funds – AGRA’s goal: leverage $ 4 billion commercial financing 12
Cumulative volume of loans to farmers and SMEsunder AGRA risk sharing facilities AGRA Innovative Finance Loan volume (US$ m) (2011)30 39,238 SHFs252015 66,449 SHFs 24,848 SHFs 966 ADs10 72,053 SHFs 5 4,514 SHFs 0 Kenya Uganda Tanzania Mozambique Ghana Tanzania (NMB) (Stanbic)