Nourishing Africa, in partnership with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) and Riby, has embarked upon a programme called the Youth in Agrifood Export Development Programme (YAEDP), which will empower young agripreneurs between the ages of 25 and 40 years old. The programme will take place over the course of six months, and will teach agripreneurs about the export sector.
“The programme will provide training, market linkages and digital support to young entrepreneurs and co-operative leaders in the Nigerian agri-food sector,” Nourishing Africa said.
To be eligible, agripreneurs must meet the following criteria:
- Be a Nigerian agripreneur and/or agro-cooperative leader between 25 and 40 years old, who is looking to export their produce
- Applicants’ businesses must be located in the priority states in the country
- Applicants must produce and/or sell food products in the priority value chains
- The business must have been operational for at least one year
“Participants in the programme will include entrepreneurs and cooperative leaders in the agri-food sector across ten states in Nigeria. These include Abia, Adamawa, Cross River, Edo, FCT, Kano, Lagos, Kogi, Ogun and Oyo.”
Those who wish to apply must also work within one or multiple of these value chains, including: spices, shea butter, cashew, ginger, rubber cassava, soybean and cocoa.
“The YAEDP aims to ensure inclusiveness, hence, we strongly encourage applications from women and underrepresented youth such as those with disabilities,” Nourishing Africa said. “Applicants are to note that this programme does not provide grants to participants. Application and participation in the program are free of charge.”
It is also important for applicants to note that the programme is not eligible for businesses that are in the idea stage. The programme is designed to support already-existing agri-food businesses that are interested in exporting their goods.
The organisation also makes it clear that businesses applying need not yet be part of Nourishing Africa to apply and potentially be selected. Those who apply also do not need to have an export licence.
At least 15 000 applicants will be selected to participate, and the training is self-paced for six weeks. “There will also be open Zoom sessions where participants are expected to join live,” it added.
“Participants are expected to commit between three to four hours per week for six weeks to take the self-paced courses.”