By Valentina Ekun
As part of its effort in extending agribusiness opportunities to more youth in Africa, ENABLE-TAAT, the youth enabler compact of the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) in collaboration with the Togolese government, organized a 4-day comprehensive training for trainers at Centre Pilote des Techniques Agricoles du Togo (CPTA), in Lomé Togo from 11th -14th June.
The training which was a follow up on the sensitization and awareness creation carried out by ENABLE-TAAT at the National Farmers’ Forum organized by the Togolese government in April 2019 is the first step leading to the implementation of TAAT youth program in Togo.
it was organized to ensure that trainers, who would be training youths during the ENABLE-TAAT pilot phase, are well-equipped with the necessary skills needed to run an incubation program, and also enlighten them on the technologies promoted by TAAT.
With this expansion, ENABLE-TAAT will develop agribusiness skills, change counter-productive mindsets and provide economic opportunities to rural youth in agribusiness, including young women.
The compact will also work with some other TAAT commodity value chains to establish a range of innovative, youth-led agricultural enterprises and consolidate the gains along value chains, including higher-value crop production, marketing, value addition and a range of agricultural services.
Also, it will support rural enterprise networks that provide youth-led initiatives with interactive agribusiness and financial information and raise the creditworthiness of aspiring youth agribusiness persons.
Addressing the participants at the training, the Head of TAAT Clearinghouse, Dr. Mpoko Bokanga stated that the training marks the
beginning of agricultural transformation in Togo.
“Africa has to feed itself; we cannot wait for other continents to feed us. We have the land mass, climate, and weather, but what is hindering us I believe is the technology, hence, TAAT has come to introduce improved agricultural technologies so that there can be an agricultural transformation in Africa and in Togo especially” he said.
The representative of the Minister of Agriculture in Togo, Mr. Kpadenou Kodjoga advised the trained youth to be dedicated and tap into the vast agricultural technologies being promoted by TAAT through the young people working under ENABLE-TAAT.
The training had in attendance about 54 participants who were trained on topics ranging from youth marginalization, its negative impact on the economy and ENABLE-TAAT as a solution, Agripreneurs movement, Youth Incubation and Agribusiness rural enterprise which covers topics on Agribusiness and Incubation, Value Chains, Mentorship, Financial management, ICT in agribusiness, Marketing, to mention a few.
One of the participants, Tsibi Blakeur, a trainer at Institut National de Formation Agricole (INFA) said the training has enlightened him about the available opportunities along the agricultural value chains focusing on improved technologies. He further said that he is ready to transfer the knowledge to other youths.