Global Youth Agripreneur Network
A radical overhaul of our agrifood systems is needed to respond to the climate crisis and ensure food security. Youth engagement is a means as well as a goal for this transformation
A radical overhaul of our agrifood systems is needed to respond to the climate crisis and ensure food security. As these systems are the largest employer of young people in the Global South, youth engagement is a means as well as a goal for this transformation
The Global Youth Agripreneur Network is an e-agribusiness programme that’s global in scope and set to be piloted in Kenya. This pilot will give 5,000 young people – young women especially – the skills, tools and funding to become agripreneurs and strengthen agrifood systems. Drawing on the power of technology, and youth input, it will also support more than 1 million young smallholder farmers to become digital agripreneurs.
Agrifood systems cause one third of global greenhouse gas emissions from human activity, and agricultural yields are at risk from climate change impacts. Youth engagement is both a goal and a means of transforming agrifood systems, with young people acting as vital agents of change.
In the Global South – where almost 88 per cent of the world’s 1.2 billion youth live – agrifood systems employ more young people than any other industry. In Africa, for example, agriculture is thought to employ more than 36 per cent of youth. The World Bank projects that Africa’s agribusiness sector will be worth US$1 trillion by 2030.
All of this means that the sector is best placed to increase employment and entrepreneurship opportunities while driving economic growth.
Agrifood systems must be transformed for the good of both planet and people. The Global Youth Agripreneur Network will scale skilling, employment and entrepreneurship in agribusiness – where more value can be created by youth and for youth.
How it works
Focusing first on Kenya, the Global Youth Agripreneur Network aims to reach more than 1 million young farmers across the country. GenU will deliver the programme with partners including UNICEF, the World Bank, KUZA and the Government of Kenya.
An Agribusiness Centre of Excellence will be set up in every ward of Kenya to serve as a community training hub. Each centre will be located in a school and equipped with digital infrastructure and a demo plot of various crops.
Aspiring digital agripreneurs will be invited to use the hubs and shown how to use the infrastructure to provide climate-smart extension services and showcase sustainable agriculture practices, products and services. Young people in school agriculture clubs will be trained to support the agripreneurs and to train younger students.
For young people, the aims are to inspire young people about working in agrifood systems, skill them to take advantage of the multiple opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship and connect them to the job market – through mentorship, internship, and on-the-job training.