To encourage young people in the continent to take interest in agriculture, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and its partners have instituted the Agri-Pitch Entrepreneurship competition for African youth, aged 18 to 35 years, in the sector to pitch their innovations.
“Already, we are seeing some brilliant ideas from Agripreneurs: for example, promoting remote control mechanisms like GPS or drones to monitor crop health and forecast yields, and developing applications that allow farmers to sell their products at a market price through mobile phones,” AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina said.
The top three competitors will be invited to present their proposals and receive an award during a session titled “Africa is Cool: Engaging Africa’s Youth” at the annual African heads of states meeting facilitated by AfDB in India.
In partnership with the African Development Institute, AfDB will also send the winners to Korea for a study visit.
With the continent aiming to feed itself and eradicate malnutrition by 2025 and the current average age of African farmers 60 years, agriculture holds the potential for gainful employment and wealth creation for Africa’s youth.
At the 2017 meeting, African heads of states will discuss youth in agriculture under the theme “Transforming Agriculture for Wealth Creation in Africa”.
AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina noted, “There are opportunities to empower the youth at each stage of the agricultural value chain as ‘agripreneurs’. Young people are doing new and amazing things in the agricultural space all over the continent but need to be motivated”.
The India meeting will showcase bright young African Agripreneurs who prove that with access to agribusiness, youth can be the driving force of the continent’s agriculture.
AfDB has approved more than half a billion dollars in support of youth operations in the sector in Cameroon, Sudan, Nigeria and more African countries through which it expects over 300, 000 enterprises and 1.5 million jobs to be directly created.
The African heads of states Annual Meetings in India will be held in Ahmedabad from 22 to 26 May 2017.