Three young farmers from South Africa, Kenya and Uganda were announced as the winners in the inaugural Nestlé needs YOUth Agripreneurship competition. The three will receive mentorship and coaching opportunities totalling US$30 000.
The Nestlé Needs YOUth Agri Competition, ran from June – July 2022 and called for youth agripreneurs to submit entries of their farming business. Over 600 entries were received from across the region. The top 10 finalists were from South Africa (Sahaba Projects, Imbewu Farmers, AgriNouri, Guwela Farming, Zsqaured projects and Sekgale Trading Enterprise), Kenya (Melmax Farm Fresh, Tuluk Honey Traders Baringo and Kokwa Island Beekeeper), and Uganda (Kyega Valley Mixed Farms).
First prize winner, Fellistus Mmankopodi Sekgale (26), is based in Sekhukhune district, Fetakgomo Municipality in Mphanama Village, South Africa. Her business, QueenAgri, offers services and supplies goods mainly to retailers in the Limpopo province, South Africa. The company specialises in mixed farming on 20 hectares of a farm producing livestock and cash crops for supply.
Melvin Muna (29) of Melmax Farm Fresh, took the second prize. The business is based in Kibwezi Town, in the Makueni County in Kenya. The third prize winner is John Wani (29) of Kyega Valley Mixed Farms, from Kiryandongo district in the Bunyoro sub-region, Uganda.
The Nestlé needs YOUth initiative aims to help young people gain access to apprenticeships, traineeships, and job opportunities – empowering them with skills they need to thrive. The global ambition is to help ten million young people around the world access economic opportunities by 2030 through employment and employability, agripreneurship, and entrepreneurship.
The prizes come courtesy of the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship South Africa’s Ignite Business Accelerator, and will help the three winners in getting their businesses investor-ready and ready to go to market.
“Being the most youthful continent, Africa’s emerging status presents young people with myriad opportunities to reimagine the agricultural sector due to their affinity to innovation and technology,” said Nwabisa Mayema, strategic partnership director at the centre.
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