Key publications The purpose of ARDYIS is to raise youth awareness and capacity on agricultural and rural development issues in ACP countries through ICTs. Tue, 21 Aug 2018 09:36:56 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Innovate for Agriculture (Report)

Increasing agricultural productivity in developing countries and promoting youth employment and entrepreneurship are important recommendations of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations in 2015. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) play an important role. Young entrepreneurs using ICT innovations are particularly suited to contribute to increased agricultural productivity and sustainability given their inventiveness, energy and capacity to take risks.

An increasing number of young innovative entrepreneurs in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries are developing ICTs for agriculture solutions to support agricultural value chains, providing employment and livelihood opportunities.

To highlight ACP entrepreneurs’ important contribution and to emphasise the need for strengthening their endeavours, CTA, in collaboration with Ashoka's Youth Venture, has produced the publication Innovate for Agriculture.

The report introduces 30 innovators, 21 featured with full stories, and nine ‘innovators to watch’. Case studies include innovations from Barbados, Botswana, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Jamaica, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda. A couple of innovators who come from outside ACP but offer services in these regions are also featured. The publication is a collection of life stories of interest to aspiring agri-tech entrepreneurs from all countries.

Featured innovations include: how the innovation came about; what problems it addresses; how the innovations are implemented; impacts so far; the business model; challenges faced; strategies to address sustainability; and, the future outlook. The report also includes entrepreneurs’ own recommendations and advice to other young people interested in venturing into ICT innovation and entrepreneurship in agriculture.

According to Michael Hailu, Director of CTA, “The young innovators featured in this publication are role models who can inspire others and encourage them to innovate for agriculture. Their stories are a testimony of how young people are already contributing to transforming agricultural value chains through their innovations.”

The innovations featured fall into various segments along the agricultural value chain. While the first part of the publication focuses on services helping to improve livestock and crop production (e.g. HelloTractor, Daral Technologies), subsequent parts concentrate on those facilitating access to finance (e.g. Ensibuuko and FarmDrive) and those strengthening trade, markets and consumption (e.g. Foodrings, D'MarketMovers).

As Reem Rahman from Ashoka, one of report writers, observes, "The innovators featured in this report demonstrate the power of opening the door to youth leadership. They confirm that we currently have a powerful generation of changemakers transforming the world -- from agricultural value chains and beyond."

Innovate for Agriculture presents a multi-dimensional picture of the evolving field of ICT entrepreneurship in agriculture in developing countries. It describes challenges but also successes already achieved. It is hoped that this publication will serve as a key reference for young people and stakeholders seeking to invest in agriculture and ICTs in the ACP region.

The report is produced as part of CTA’s Agriculture, Rural Development and Youth in the Information Society (ARDYIS) project, which supports youth innovations and entrepreneurship in ICTs and agriculture. Most innovators included in the publication have benefited from CTA support and participated in its activities.

]]> Key publications Tue, 29 Mar 2016 13:45:49 +0000 ICT and Youth in Agriculture in Africa (Report)

Within the framework of the 2015 Africa Agriculture Status Report developed by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) in collaboration with partners including CTA, which focused on Youth in agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa, CTA contributed a chapter on: "ICT and Youth in Agriculture" and "Innovative and Inclusive Finance for Youth in Agriculture" to the report. The objective of the chapter on “ICT and Youth in Agriculture” was to examine the role ICTs are playing in supporting youth engagement in agriculture in Africa, and to explore the current status, usages and emerging trends.

Furthermore, it attempted to highlight the key challenges and opportunities for Africa’s youth in agriculture and make recommendations to policy makers and other stakeholders on how to foster increased involvement of young people in agriculture.

While African youth have shown insufficient interest in agriculture, and their engagement have not been sufficiently supported, the emerging trend of applying ICT solutions to agriculture are attracting an increasing number of youth (back) to agriculture. These young people often bring their energy, creativity and tech-savviness to agriculture and are changing its landscape in Africa.

This is being done through various initiatives, such as better integrating ICTs in record keeping, promoting agriculture among other youth via social media platforms, creating virtual markets that help farmers/agripreneurs connect to markets more easily and get better prices, developing ICT applications for agricultural value chains. Youth are helping to advance new agricultural ICT-enabled practices, such as e-extension and precision agriculture. The inclusion of ICTs is gradually generating additional livelihood opportunities for them and strengthening their engagement with the sector.

Young people are, however, constrained by a host of factors, including the relatively high cost of access to ICTs, inadequate capacity, unreliable connectivity, weak (but improving) integration of ICTs into the agricultural value chains, and limited access to finance for their activities.

ICT uses analysed in this report build on the framework of engaging youth in agriculture through ICTs developed by the CTA ARDYIS project.

Examples of initiatives analysed include those implemented by stakeholders such as IICD, YPARD, IFAD, the Rwandan Ministry of Youth and ICTs (MYICT), Agri-ProFocus.

Key recommendations include:

  • Facilitate affordable access to ICTs for young farmers
  • Support ICT for agricultural research, innovation and youth entrepreneurship
  • Develop digital literacy programs for young farmers and agripreneurs
  • Strengthen ICT incorporation into agricultural curricula
  • Support the sharing of success stories on ICT and youth in agriculture
Authors also recommend that increasing ICT use and equipment in agricultural institutions, as well as promoting the development and implementation of sound e-agriculture strategies. This will better develop youth uses and innovations and benefit all stakeholders.

Authors of the Chapter: Ken Lohento and Oluwabunmi Ajilore.

Download the chapter here
]]> Key publications Wed, 17 Feb 2016 14:56:53 +0000 Innovative and Inclusive finance for youth in agriculture (Report)

Within the framework of the 2015 Africa Agriculture Status Report developed by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) in collaboration with partners including CTA, which focused on "Youth in agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa", CTA contributed two chapters on: "Innovative and Inclusive Finance for Youth in Agriculture" and "ICT and Youth in Agriculture" to the report.

The chapter on “Innovative and inclusive finance for youth in agriculture” focused on analysing youth access to credit, savings, insurance or other forms of financing to promote their entrepreneurship drive.

It starts with a brief review of the challenges preventing young agripreneurs from accessing needed finance. It went further to assess the current state of financing available to youth in agriculture, observing that financing youth in agriculture is already happening.

Besides, where African youth have had this financing opportunity, they have found innovative and creative strategies to secure a future for themselves while contributing to the development of the private sector and social stability in their countries. However, because young people often have fewer assets to use as collaterals, there is still a considerable gap in their access finance especially through formal institutions, thus financing of youth in agriculture needs to be scaled up.

Authors summarized their analyses and recommendations into five key points indicated below:

  • Links between young entrepreneurs in agriculture and formal financial institutions need to be strengthened by improving youth’s financial literacy and the capability of institutions to assess agricultural sector opportunities.
  • Better metrics can drive better policy – African governments should produce and share reliable statistics on youth employment in agriculture and their financial inclusion.
  • Young agripreneurs, having fewer assets, will benefit from forms of finance that do not require fixed collateral, such as contract farming, leasing, warehouse receipt finance or factoring. Governments and international development organizations should encourage such forms of finance through blending and guarantee schemes.
  • Crowdfunding platforms offer opportunities to young African entrepreneurs, including in agriculture, and governments should remove all barriers that prevent them from operating properly, including for equity and loan financing.
  • A scarcity of venture capital firms (including the mentoring services that they provide) hampers African young entrepreneurs, including in agriculture, in developing and scaling up their businesses. Development organizations should continue to scale up their support for challenge funds and impact investing to fill this critical gap in the market.

Leveraging on these recommendations can help governments and development organisations working with young people in agriculture to facilitate increased youth engagement in agriculture and unleash their entrepreneurship drive.

Authors of the Chapter:
Lamon Rutten and Sehomi Landry Fanou

Download the chapter here

]]> Key publications Wed, 17 Feb 2016 14:50:28 +0000 Youth in Agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa

On September 30, 2015, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) launched the 2015 Africa Agriculture Status Report in Lusaka, Zambia. This report was specifically focused on "Youth in agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa", highlight the challenges and the opportunities for African youth in agriculture. CTA, via the ARDYIS project, contributed two chapters on: "Innovative and Inclusive Finance for Youth in Agriculture" and "ICT and Youth in Agriculture" to the status report.


In justifying the focus on youth, AGRA pointed out a post-launch press release on its website that: "Youth participation all along the value chain is vital to the growth of the agriculture-based economies of most African countries – from agricultural research and development, to food production, storage and handling, to agroprocessing, through to marketing and distribution in local, regional and international food markets. African youth present an unprecedented opportunity to deal with the constraints and challenges holding back improvements in agricultural productivity. Channeling the energy, strength, and dynamism of Africa’s youth into productive, competitive and profitable agribusinesses (including food production) will boost agricultural productivity, ensure sustainable food production system, create jobs, and generate incomes. The impact of youth involvement and participation in agriculture and food systems will be seen in sustainable economic growth, and in the reduction of poverty and malnutrition across the continent."

CTA Contributions

The chapter on "Innovative and Inclusive Finance for Youth in Agriculture" (chapter 4 in the report), highlighted the weak link between youth agripreneurs and formal financial institutions, including the scarcity of venture capital firms to support young entrepreneurs. It suggested alleviating these challenges for example through innovative financial means that required fewer or no assets or fixed collateral; such as contract farming, leasing, warehousing receipt, including socially innovative ways like crowdfunding.

On the other hand, the chapter on "ICT and Youth in Agriculture" (chapter 5) explored ICT for agriculture status and trends in Africa, and examined the roles ICTs are playing in supporting youth involvement in the sector. It also illustrated how youth are contributing to strengthening agricultural value chains through ICT innovations. It finallly discussed the current challenges relating to ICT use by youth (agricultural entrepreneurs, ICT entrepreneurs venturing in agriculture or other youth active in the sector) and suggested ways that those problems can be resolved.


In the end, as also expressed in the release quoted earlier, "the report is an affirmation and recognition of the prominent role of youth in transforming SSA agriculture and their vital contribution to engendering a uniquely African green revolution. Youth are vital to development and growth across Africa. The hope is that all stakeholders – whether from the public or private sector, or from government or non-governmental organizations working to transform African agriculture – will recognize the importance and potential of Africa’s youth and wisely invest in them to reduce poverty, end hunger, and ensure healthy lives and wellbeing for all at all ages."

Download the full report here

]]> Key publications Tue, 16 Feb 2016 18:28:46 +0000 Report: Youth at Work

The MasterCard Foundation has just launched a new publication entitled "Youth at work: Building economic opportunities for young people in Africa".

This publication is a review of the Foundation's skills training projects for young people in Africa.

For the vast majority of youth, “mixed livelihoods” too often result in barely subsistence wages, and with little protection and security. The MasterCard Foundation’s programs have sought to address these issues by pushing forward more holistic, comprehensive training programs, which offer a combination of training for market-relevant skills, the connection to stable jobs or more productive self-employment opportunities, and development of fundamental life skills, including appropriate financial education and services.

Read/download the full report here:
Youth at work: Building economic opportunities for young people in Africa

]]> Key publications Wed, 02 Sep 2015 08:17:13 +0000 Publication: Youth and Agriculture: Key Challenges and Concrete Solutions

The global population is expected to increase to 9 billion by 2050, of which, 14% are youth aged between 15 – 24 years. While the world’s youth population is will grow significantly, employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for youth, especially those living in developing countries’ economically stagnant rural areas – remain limited, poorly remunerated and of poor quality. Few young people see a future for themselves in agriculture or rural areas. Some of the major challenges faced are: limited access to land; inadequate access to financial services; insufficient access to knowledge; information and education; difficulties in accessing green jobs; limited access to markets; and limited involvement in policy dialogue.

Yet, solutions exist in all parts of the world.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Technical Center for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) have joined forces to conduct research and produce a publication which provides real life examples from developing and more advanced economies.

Each of six key challenges indicated above have been documented, and for each of them, seven to nine cases studies illustrate how they can be addressed. Analyses of the experiences, their implementation frameworks and indications on some of their results have been provided.  Additional experiences have been indicated in the conclusions of each chapter. A number of the case studies carry innovations that have strong potentials to strengthen the engagement of youths and family farmers in agricultural value chains, enhance global food security and youth livelihoods.

Many of the initiatives reported originate with the young people themselves. They show that – when there is a supportive environment – youth are able to find innovative ways to create a future for themselves, and also contribute to the societies and communities in which they live.

The document builds on results of the project “Facilitating Access to Rural Youth to Agricultural Activities” undertaken by FAO/IFAD/MIJARC, as well as on CTA youth activities. CTA, FAO and IFAD hope that this publication will help development practitioners, youth leaders, youth associations, producers’ organisations and policy makers alike by providing insights into possible solutions that can be tailored to their own context.

Download your copy here:
Youth and Agriculture: Key Challenges and Concrete Solutions

]]> Key publications Mon, 09 Mar 2015 11:13:00 +0000 Life stories of African women and young professionals in science Life stories of African women and young professionals in science

This booklet takes a look at the life stories of 12 remarkable African agricultural scientists who are making a difference on the continent and internationally. Ten of them are the women and young researchers who were winners of the 3rd Africa wide science competitions. They are motivated to be part of the solution, and not the problem. Indeed, as researchers they are helping to transform agriculture by developing science-based solutions to some of the complex issues facing African farmers. Their journeys to becoming agricultural scientists are strikingly similar: most of them come from smallholder farms, and their flair for science was spotted and nurtured by their secondary school teachers.

To download the publication: check here - Version française disponible

]]> Key publications Mon, 02 Mar 2015 15:22:15 +0000 Engaging youth in family farming will require stronger focus on agribusiness and relevant ICTs (Report)

70% of our global food requirement comes from the 500 million family farms around the world (FAO, 2014). And yet, family farming is often associated with poverty as these farms usually operate on small scales (mainly for subsistence) and generate low revenues. Thus, it is not a surprise that youth are not attracted to family farming.

But looking at the other side of the picture, there are many young people already involved in family farming. By undertaking their daily tasks, they acquire knowledge and skills from their elderly family members and apply these techniques in their farming activities. They also bring agricultural technology and innovation into the family farm and are often involved in management activities that require their educational knowledge (keeping accounts, communication with partners, etc.). There is also another category of youth who are not directly involved in the field, but are developing ICT applications or offering ICT services which are useful to family farmers.

These are some of the key features of youth in family farming, that are highlighted in the report of the e-debate on “
Youth sustaining family farming through ICTs”, organised by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), in collaboration with the African Youth Foundation (AYF) in October 2014. Aiming to discuss the involvement of youth in family farming, opportunities in this area and challenges faced; as well as exploring how ICTs can strengthen their engagement in family farming, this e-debate has generated over 150 contributions from more than 20 countries.

The discussions stressed that enhancing youth engagement in family farming will require further support to rural youth, as well as improving rural conditions.
The debate also recalled that family farming facilitates entry in the agricultural sector. Sustaining family farming will therefore result in an increase in youth involvement in agriculture.

Key recommendations from the report include the following:

On youth and family farming:

  • Encouraging adequate processes for transition of family farm management from elders to youth
  • Promoting role models and success stories of youth in family farming
  • Strengthening policies on family farming and youth

On youth, ICTs and family farming:

  • Developing ICT training and capacity building programmes for youth in family farming
  • Strengthening rural telecentres and rural ICT access points targeting farming
  • Strengthening the role of rural youth as agricultural information brokers via ICTs

Other interesting points raised by participants are the need to develop agribusiness capacity for young family farmers and to ensure that ICT solutions targeting farming and rural stakeholders are more adapted to rural socio-technical contexts. Local content is key and will accelerate adoption of ICTs by family farmers.

The report includes a great number of initiatives shared by youth and organisations supporting youths during the discussion.

Read and download the full report here:

The e-debate was organised in the context of the International Year of Family Farming, and in the framework of the ARDYIS project’s periodic e-debates. These exchanges are organised notably to support knowledge building of young people on ICT for agriculture issues and favour networking. Subject matter experts from IFAD,
Savannah Young Farmers Network, MEDIAPROD, Caribbean Agricultural Extension Provider's Network (CAEPNet), CTA, University of the West Indies and AYF contributed to the facilitation of the discussions.

]]> Key publications Tue, 27 Jan 2015 16:35:56 +0000 Working paper on Agribusiness in Sub-Saharan Africa: Pathways for developing innovative programs for youth and the rural poor

Over 63 percent of the total population in Sub-Saharan Africa live in rural areas where agriculture remains the single largest source of employment and income. The transformation of subsistence agriculture and embarking on an agribusiness development path will drive economic growth, while providing increased employment opportunities and enhanced livelihoods for people living in poverty. Some field-based practical experiences and lessons now show promise for improving the employment opportunities of young people through agribusiness. From the point of view of farmers, producers and other actors in the value chain, there are opportunities to build agribusinesses through skills and training, technology and finance in order to improve productivity and add value to products.

On the occasion of the 2014 World Food Day, the MasterCard Foundation released a new working paper on "Agribusiness in Sub-Saharan Africa: Pathways for developing innovative programs for youth and the rural poor".

This paper is intended to provide guidance for those seeking impact in the field of agriculture and youth development in Africa. It defines key terms and concepts, and highlights promising initiatives and projects that develop durable livelihood opportunities for young people working in agriculture.

You can download the full report HERE.

Article originally published on The MasterCard Foundation website:
Agribusiness in Sub-Saharan Africa: Pathways for developing innovative programs for youth and the rural poor

]]> Key publications Wed, 22 Oct 2014 07:22:51 +0000 e-Debate Report: Enhancing Young Women’s engagement in ICT and Agriculture’s-engagement-in-ict-and-agriculture’s-engagement-in-ict-and-agriculture

From 16th April to 7th May 2014, the Technical Centre or Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), in collaboration with the African Youth Foundation (AYF) organised an e-debate on “Enhancing Young Women’s engagement in ICT and Agriculture” to celebrate the International Girls in ICT Day.

The objectives of the e-debate were to:

  1. Discuss the objectives and the use of ICT by young girls and women in the agricultural sector and share experiences from various ACP countries;
  2. Discuss the opportunities, challenges faced and perspectives concerning the use of ICT by young women agricultural or ICT entrepreneurs offering services for the agricultural sector; and
  3. Contribute to the celebration of the International Girls in ICT Day.

The discussion witnessed participation from the members subscribed on the discussion group. At the time of the e-debate, over 500 people were subscribed to the mailing list. The different contributions came from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Dominica, D.R. Congo, Ghana, Jamaica, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Nigeria, Tanzania, The Netherlands, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, Uganda and Zambia.

Download the e-debate report to know more about the initiatives and experiences shared, the challenges identified, and the proposed recommendations: Enhancing Young Women’s engagement in ICT and Agriculture

More information on the e-Debate:

]]> Key publications Mon, 25 Aug 2014 10:22:58 +0000