Worried about growing unemployment in the economies of West and Central countries, the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF) is reviving its online web TVin order to better reach current and potential agripreneurs with its innovations and technologies.
Under the West African Agriculture Productivity Program (WAAPP), CORAF and national research partners devised over 200 technologies. While uptake of these technologies has been encouraging, more work needs to be done to get the unemployed youths of the region, particularly to use them to start-up or strengthen their businesses.
Renamed Agripeneur TV, this online TV channel specializes in the field of the agriculture economy and mainly targeted at young agricultural entrepreneurs. The project was launched back in 2016 with the financial support of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB).
Agripeneur TV is managed by a team of passionate young Africans and supported by tech-savvy information and communication professionals. On the menu of its programs are eight major programs. The “NEWS” which covers all the recent topics related to agriculture, reports, interviews, etc. “TECHNO FOCUS” which focuses on technologies and agricultural innovations issues, while “YOUTH’INNOV” centers on the innovations of successful young African agrarian entrepreneurs. Other programs such as “AGRI INVITE” permits you to receive on the set or in the field various personalities that revolve around the agricultural sector.
“MY AGRI BLOG”, “AGRI’ASTUCE” (Agri Tips), “PODCAST” and “MICRO-TROTTOIR” (Street interviews) complete the schedule of Agripreneur TV programs.
“Promoting agricultural entrepreneurship is central to our business model. With this online tool, we aim to speed up engagement with the not only the youths but any entrepreneur of our region. We have technologies and innovations with enormous potential, and we hope to disseminate them through this channel further,” says Dr. Mariam Maiga, project lead.
Together to Fight Unemployment and Youth Migration
Youth unemployment is a major concern for many developing countries because of its adverse effects on the economy, social stability, and security. In West and Central Africa, youths make up over 60 percent of the workforce. The percentage of young people aged 20 to 24 who will have to finish secondary education will increase from 42 to 59 percent of the population over the next 20 years, according to XXX.
However, despite their level of qualification, lack of professional experience remains their most significant handicap. Although many jobs have been created, the market is not always able to absorb the growing number of young people entering the labor market every year.
Since 2014, CORAF with the support of the IsDB has put in place the Capacity Building of Youth in Agricultural Entrepreneurship (NEYAT) project.
The project is based on three fundamental pillars namely:
- Putting the results of research into practice;
- Strengthening partnerships between the research sector and the private sector;
- Creating an environment conducive to the spirit of agricultural entrepreneurship.
The Executive Secretariat of CORAF coordinates this project with the nine (9) National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Senegal.
As such, fifteen (15) technologies were selected based on their ability to generate more income and attract young people to agriculture.
NEYAT has also set up a mentoring system to consolidate agricultural value chains in various areas related to livestock pre-production, crop production, livestock and fisheries production, and post-production (processing of fisheries products, labeling, marketing and market access).
To date, out of the 122 mentees selected, 22 young people, including 11 men and 11 women, are receiving online practical training on techniques for the use of “gender sensitive and climate smarttechnologies and innovations.