Thomas Wegener – Founder of GrowExpress on working closely together to develop the agricultural economy to provide employment and basic nutrition, including youth and single women.
GrowExpress is working closely with the Oyo State Local Government in the area of agriculture to achieve this goal and ensure its long-term sustainability.
PARTNERSHIPS in the transformation of agriculture
As agriculture is an important source of income in Africa, as well as in the whole country of Nigeria, new agribusiness innovations already available need to be constantly assessed, locally adapted and implemented. This is necessary to address and counter Africa’s most pressing challenges of nutrition, poverty, and natural resource utilization.
For example, most Nigerian state governments are very committed to improving food self-sufficiency, providing raw materials for agri-based industries, and creating employment opportunities. To this end, they are entering into long-term partnerships with the private sector to collaborate with the government on innovative solutions and capacity building for agricultural development and implement them in an inclusive manner as soon as possible.
PRIVATE ECONOMY brings speed – government framework and legal certainty
In this context, GrowExpress and the Tropical Institute IITA are elaborating current and future plans, which are mainly related to the further development and breeding of cassava, maize and yam and their economically efficient and localized processing. In addition, both are strengthening their partnership with the state for improved production and supply of clean plant material and youth employment in agriculture. All parties are also working on digitized value chain collaboration to improve communication, coordination and access to markets in the OYO as well as statewide.
Kingsley Ekwueme of GrowExpress says he values being associated with IITA „The commitment of the teams shows that the purpose of collaboration is being achieved. And this partnership will grow as much as agricultural employment and yields.“
COLLABORATION – Everyone brings their strengths to the table
CGIAR-IITA’s `Youth in Agriculture‘ office is working with various organizations in Nigeria to implement the `Working for African Youth‘ strategy. In a media release, GrowExpress and IITA announced the official collaboration, which includes a close partnership to employ single women and youth to build skills over the next five years to ensure dignified and fulfilling work opportunities in the agri-food value chain.
It enables young farmers to bring their homegrown products to market in consultation with policy makers, educators and entrepreneurs, the framework for which was developed in ‚Working for African Youth‘.
Thomas Wegener also confirms that „Agriculture is at the heart of Africa’s economic transformation. It will profoundly define the future of labor. Labor is pervasive, especially in the agricultural sector (production, processing, financing, packaging and marketing). We are focusing on agriculture in Nigeria because we see these opportunities and are working with partners like IITA to make them visible to young people in the short – as well as the long – term.“
INNOVATION ensures affordable staple foods
The joint IITA project will focus on building innovative and inclusive agri-food systems for young people between the ages of 15 and 35, and will help them secure employment or self-employment through entrepreneurship over the next five years.
The project will scale existing youth initiatives. This includes a mechanism to improve agricultural education in secondary schools in a way that better directs career paths toward modern agriculture and agribusiness. Partnerships with education commissions will lead to massive scaling of the program.
Accelerated by Corona times collaboration with online learning platforms, the digital program delivered by `Work for African Youth‘ will revolutionize agriculture education in public education institutions across Nigeria. The program will also scale access to vocational education for underprivileged youth.
The project is being implemented with broad-based partners and state governments. So, too, with financial institutions that take into account the special needs of young people, especially young women, as agricultural borrowers, youth-sensitive loan and agribusiness support programs are being developed. The program aims to reduce the risks associated with young people obtaining loans for agricultural investment purposes.
TOGETHER for Africa
„The program partners are well positioned to provide the training, referral and agribusiness support services needed in Nigeria. This optimal mix of partners will ensure that project approaches reflect the special attention that the Young Africa Works strategy gives to young women and youth. The project will apply specific approaches to empower you in Nigeria while taking into account cultural sensitivities.“
GrowExpress as a program partner will make its stable and continuous contribution to implement the success in the short term and to advance in the long term and more importantly and above all in the daily operation with all the energy life…
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GrowExpress Ltd office is located in Nigeria, Cocoa House, Dugbe, 200263 Ibadan. Completed in 1965 at a height of 105 meters, Cocoa House was once the tallest building in Nigeria and the first skyscraper in West Africa. It is located in Dugbe, one of the main commercial areas in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria. The GrowExpress Ltd. company farms an estate of 800 hectares about 200 km north of the megacity of Lagos, Nigeria. For more information, visit: https://growexpress.org