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Strengthening Nigerian youth's capacity in agribusiness

Agriculture holds much promise for young people because they possess the skills, energy and viability to explore the vast opportunities in agribusiness, smart agriculture, precision farming and agricultural development.

It was in this direction that YPARD Nigeria hosted agro-minded youth at the YPARD Café themed – “Enabling the business of Agriculture – The Youth Perspective” in Abuja on the 30th of June 2018. The purpose of the YPARD Café was to foster interactions with YPARDians in Abuja and possibly within the North-Central Region as young agribusiness experts and social entrepreneurs committed to agricultural and rural development were present to share their experiences and business secrets specifically on how they are trying to involve more young people in business of agriculture and transforming the agricultural sector.

For us at YPARD Nigeria, we have in the last seven years made a significant impact by empowering youth through training, mentorships, internships, symposiums, career fairs, providing access to capacity building and fundraising opportunities for members in collaboration with relevant stakeholders and partners in the agricultural sector in Nigeria.

This café provided an avenue to showcase what YPARD is all about- both at the global level and in Nigeria and will also enable young agricultural professionals to familiarize with each other; share information on research, projects and personal discoveries and exploits within agriculture. This is also going to be a medium for the YPARD national coordinating team to identify the real needs of the young professionals and disseminate information about YPARD activities, partners, opportunities, events and funding.

It was inspiring and engaging listening to the strategic presentations and panel discussions towards strengthening our future partnerships as an international organization in programs and projects in Nigeria and Africa towards deepening the youth narrative in Nigeria.

It was an opportunity to showcase and increase the visibility of Rozella Media, our host partner for the YPARD Café through our members, global website and social media handles. This will also form the basis to foster a future, long-term partnership with this collaborating organization.

During the lead presentation and panel discussions, the five speakers brainstormed about innovative ways of making agriculture both profitable and "cool" for young people. They all agreed to the need to move the perception of agriculture as a way of life for millions of rural people to a sustainable business model.

The invited speakers were Uka Eje of Thrive Agric, Praise Uke of Sabi-Agrik, Loveth Mile of IITA Abuja and Richard Agetu of Richsi Foods.

Photo credit: Eric Nyikwagh