The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan and Mastercard Foundation have engaged the organised private sector to create profitable partnerships with youth-led agribusinesses to transform and revolutionise the agricultural industry and unlock opportunities in the sector.
Both organisations made this known at the ‘The Agribusiness Investment Forum” organised by Innovative Youth in Agriculture (I-Youth) held at the weekend.
Speaking at the event, Deputy Director-General, Corporate Services, IITA, Hilde Koper, said though the institute has done a lot in scaling technologies and innovations while providing the much-needed capacity, the knowledge and skills required to attract youth participation in agriculture, there is support from investors to help retain their interest in the sector.
While singling out Mastercard Foundation for providing necessary funding for agribusiness training, Koper stated that it has become significant for the private sector to come in by offering loans or microcredit to youth-led enterprises to scale their businesses. She stressed that successful youth-led agribusinesses are also a viable employment opportunity for Nigerian Youth.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Country Head, Mastercard Foundation-Nigeria, Chidinma Lawanson, stated that the Foundation aims to leverage the youth population in Africa to deliver on the target of providing 7 million dignified and fulfilling jobs in the agricultural sector, noting that IITA is a strategic partner in the realisation of this overall objective.