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AgriProFocus Rwanda and partners would like organize a ‘’Youth in Agribusiness Festival’’, to enhance the engagement of youth in agribusiness by facilitating information-sharing and practical entrepreneurship experience -sharing between youth role-models and those who want to enter the agribusiness career as well as creating links and networking space between youth agri-entrepreneurs and agribusiness companies, development partners, farmers’ federations, farmers cooperatives’, financial institutions’ and policy makers.

Agri business is one of the key drivers of national economy

The two previous ones were organized in close collaboration with Rural Development Initiative (RDI, the University of Rwanda/College of Agriculture (UR/CAVM), National Youth Council and RYAF

The event will take place in UR/CAVM Nyagatare Campus on the 22nd November 2017 ‘’Youth in Agribusiness Festival’’ is an event that started in 2015 from an idea of RDI and AgriProFocus Rwanda with the aim of advocating, to policy makers and development partners to support youth in agribusiness sector.

The festival was an effective advocacy and networking tool which inspired many partners including the Ministry of Youth & ICT, the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal resources, linked youth agribusiness entrepreneurs with key development partners such as USAID/PSDAG and inspired unemployed youth to tap into agribusiness.

The first festival took place 2015 attracted more than 300 people that included but not limited to URCAVM students, and lecturers, youth role models’ agribusiness companies, financial institutions, government institutions and NGOs. The festival was closed by Honorable Minister Philbert NSENGIMANA – Minister of Youth and ICT.

The second was attended by 642 participants of the same profile as in the first one.

African Youth in Agriculture

African countries have the youngest population in the world and the largest share of the world’s

available arable land. Indeed, as the Youth Division of the Africa Union Commission puts it, about 65% of

the total population of Africa is below the age of 35 years and 10 million youth enter the labour market

annually. The future of the continent is in the hands of the youth. They are one of the greatest assets

and an inevitable force for improving the productivity and growth of all sectors of Africa’s economy. In

the urban and rural areas of Africa, young people are in the majority.

The Rwandan context

The importance of agriculture sector to the growth and development of Rwanda economy is manifested

in many ways: It contributes about 52% to the Gross Domestic Product. It employs over 70% of the total

Rwanda’s population. Out of the 1 million Rwandans that were lifted out of poverty in only five years, during the implementation of the first generation of the country’s Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS 1) between 2006 – 2011, agriculture sector contributed about 45%.

Agriculture has the potential to create jobs for youths and women as well as alleviating poverty and redistribute wealth among the population.

The increased participation of youth within the Rwandan agricultural sector is necessary and vital for

the following reasons:

  1. There is compelling evidence of an ageing farmer population, which must be addressed in order to promote a sustainable agricultural production and a higher level of food security. The average age of farmers in Rwanda is 55 years old and life expectancy is between 60 and 65. Consequently, with less young people joining the agriculture sector, the production of food within the region will be seriously compromised in the next 10-15 years.
  1. The country food import bill (now estimated at two hundred million US Dollars (US$200)) continues to increase while the national agricultural production falls. If this trend does not stop, the availability of food by 2020 will strongly depend on extra-regional food production sources, making the country vulnerable to catastrophic events and other exogenous shocks that have negative impacts on the level of food production of these sources. It is necessary to enhance the level of food production in the region, increasing the number of producers and the level of productivity. The youth population is strategic to the success of these efforts to boost regional food production.
  1. The poor image of people involved in the agricultural sector needs to be changed and youth represents the ideal catalysts that will trigger this image refreshing process. Young people, in fact, are more willing to adopt new ideas, concepts and technologies which are all critical for changing the way agriculture is practiced and perceived.
  1. Increased employment, particularly rural employment, is strongly required since the level on unemployment among young graduates is still at 13.5%. Given the opportunities available in the agricultural sector, this can play a pivotal role in the reduction of the level of youth unemployment and, by extension, of the total percentage of unemployed people within working age.
  1. Youth (16-30) represents 28% of the total population. They clearly play a fundamental role in the increase of agricultural productivity and the transformation of the agricultural sector. The energy that young people possess and the fact that their numbers are significantly high, clearly demonstrates their importance in the creation of a highly productive agricultural sector.
  2. Currently, the youth participation in agribusiness is mainly constrained by:
  1. Limited knowledge on agribusiness skills
  2. Lack of start-up capital
  3. Lack of information on agribusiness opportunities
  4. Limited access to land
  5. Limited agri-entrepreneurship spirit

PURPOSE / GOAL OF THE 2017 YOUTH IN AGRIBUSINESS FESTIVAL

Turning youth into successful agribusiness entrepreneurs through advocacy, linkage and networking

EVENT OBJECTIVES

– Create links and networking space among youth agribusiness entrepreneurs with big buyers, agribusiness industry leaders, investors, farmers’ federation and Research institutions.

  – Encourage the agribusiness companies, private investors and financial institutions to invest in youth

– Share the current situation on opportunities and challenges for youth engagement in agribusiness

– Raising awareness on existing youth forums & networks in the Rwandan Agribusiness sector

– Inspire more young girls to venture into agribusiness

– Inspire the stakeholders to develop new actions to invite and/or retain Youth in Agribusiness.

 

The festival will bring together more than 1000 participants. Participants will be: UR students & lecturers, Young Agro-entrepreneurs / role models, agribusiness industry leaders, policy makers, NGOs’ projects, agribusiness companies, financial institutions, agribusiness investors, research institutions, youth cooperatives/ associations’ representatives, etc.

The event will comprise of:

(a) Presentations on the testimonies/success stories of the past youth in agribusiness festivals

(b) Presentations by some key partners on their programs supporting youth,

(c) Panel discussions on different agribusiness value chains (ex: Horticulture, Potatoes, Poultry, Pig,

Maize, Beans, Farming, Beekeeping),

(d) Small Exhibition by youth agripreneurs/role models,

(e) Networking session & Entertainment

Benefits as a youth

You will get good information, enhance your skills & knowledge on agribusiness opportunities: Youth will have face-to-face inquiries with the involved stakeholders and discuss ways of engaging more into agribusiness. The event will offer many business opportunities around the agribusiness sector and will present a platform for meeting youth in agri-business partners: during the panel sessions, youth in agribusiness role models will share their experiences/success stories, discuss the opportunities & challenges on how they made it.

Benefits as a government institution / development partner.

The event will bring together UR/CAVM students & lecturers, unemployed youth, agribusiness practitioners and all development partners to connect experiences on opportunities & challenges, and will inspire all the youth in agribusiness programs’ supporters, to develop new actions/programs to invite and/or retain youth in Agribusiness. Benefit as an agribusiness company / finance Service Provider.

Participating in this event could give you the unique opportunities:

– to effectively demonstrate & market your company’s products, technologies and services to a huge number of potential future youth clients

– to enhance the company’s image

TARGET PARTICIPANTS

COMPONENTS OF THE EVENT

(a) Presentations on the testimonies/success stories of the past youth in agribusiness festivals

(b) Presentations by some key partners on their programs supporting youth,

(c) Panel discussions on different agribusiness value chains (ex: Horticulture, Potatoes, Poultry, Pig, Maize, Beans, Farming, Beekeeping),

(d) Small Exhibition by youth agripreneurs/role models,

(e) Networking session & Entertainment

WHY SHOULD YOU ATTEND THE 2017 YOUTH IN AGRIBUSINESS FESTIVAL?

Benefits as a youth

You will get good information, enhance your skills & knowledge on agribusiness opportunities: Youth will have face to-face inquiries with the involved stakeholders and discuss ways of engaging more into agribusiness. The event will offer many business opportunities around the agribusiness sector and will present a platform for meeting youth in agri-business partners: during the panel sessions, youth in agribusiness role models will share their experiences/success stories, discuss the opportunities & challenges on how they made it.

Benefits as a government institution / development partner

The event will bring together UR/CAVM students & lecturers, unemployed youth, agribusiness practitioners and all development partners to connect experiences on opportunities & challenges, and will inspire all the youth in agribusiness programs’ supporters, to develop new actions/programs to invite and/or retain youth in Agribusiness.

Benefit as an agribusiness company / finance Service Provider Participating in this event could give you the unique opportunities:

– to effectively demonstrate & market your company’s products, technologies and services to a huge number of potential future youth clients

– to enhance the company’s image

– to invest in the youth

– to expand your company’s future clients and partners list

– to effectuate direct sales

Both Ministry of agriculture and animal resources with the one of ICT are promoters of this sector

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