Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
As part of efforts to nurture the next generation of agrarian leaders in Africa and ensure food security of the continent, the Green Agribusiness Fund has been launched in Nigeria and Rwanda.
The pilot phase of the $30,000 fund would invest in youth and agribusiness. It is spearheaded by JR Farms in collaboration with Generation Africa and the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
Six youths drawn from Nigeria and Rwanda would be provided an equity funding of $5,000 each in support of peculiar business needs including machines, packaging materials and raw material when the selection process commences in the middle of the month.
The CEO JR Farms, Rotimi Olawale, said the motive behind the initiative is to address one of the main challenges mitigating youth from productive involvement in agriculture in Africa, including limited access to finance and business mentorship.
He said the scheme would tackle poverty, labour crisis, rural urban migration and improve living standard in rural economies across Africa.
Olawale, noted that given that young people often do not meet the requirements to secure loans and equity, the promoters resolved to conceive GAF as a platform for young Africans to engage in agriculture as a key to transforming the continent and raising the next generation of agrarian leaders.
“The Fund is designed to invest in agribusiness initiatives and companies that are deemed socially responsible in their business dealings in various parts of Africa.
“These businesses must be owned by young Africans who are living in Africa. The focus is to raise the next generation of agric entrepreneurs that will lead great initiatives in agriculture and position agriculture in Africa on the path of decent jobs creation, food security and improved living standard,” Olawale said.
He also added that youth-led agribusinesses that will be accommodated on this initiative must deliver value to all stakeholders without degrading economic, social and natural capital.
Olawale, who is into coffee production in Rwanda, said the initiative will promote agribusinesses focusing on priority aspects of agriculture such as post harvest loss, climate smart farming, urban farming, seed and soil improvement, precision farming, agrictech, access to market and agro commodity trading.