By Adetola Adenmosun
Jennifer Blanke the Vice President, Agriculture, Human and Social Development at the African Development Bank (AfDB) has hailed youth engagement in agribusiness as the future for employment opportunities across Africa.
Ms Blanke stated this on Tuesday, March 26 when she visited the Youth in Agribusiness (YIA) office at the headquarters of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Ibadan, Nigeria.
Accompanied by AfDB’s Director of Agriculture and Agro-Industry Dr Martin Fregene, Ms Blanke remarked that though many young people do not desire to practice agriculture like their parents and grandparents, they are now more excited about being agripreneurs – the new generation of entrepreneurs changing the face of the agricultural sector.
She highlighted the fact that the sector, though huge enough to accommodate a larger percentage of the population, the real benefit according to her, is to find new opportunities and move up the value chain.
“This is a huge opportunity for Africa. If you look around the continent, may be 60 or 70 percent of the
population is already working in the sector but the real opportunity is to find new opportunities and move up the value chain. It is not necessarily about harvesting cassava but make exciting things with cassava” she said.
Ms Blanke also interacted with some of the young people who were trained under the ENABLE-TAAT program but have now become independent agribusiness owners.
IITA through its Youth in Agribusiness office is the lead implementing institution of the ENABLE-TAAT project, an Enabler compact under the Technologies for African Agriculture Transformation funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Miss Adenmosun is the Communications Focal Point at ENABLE TAAT