Nigeria’s ENABLE youth agribusiness programme to receive $250 million AfDB funding
The programme is expected to create a total of 220,000 jobs.
The African Development Bank has approved a $250 million loan for the Empowering Novel Agri-Business-Led Employment (ENABLE) Youth Programme in Nigeria to help contribute to job creation, food security, nutrition, as well as improved livelihoods for youths in urban and rural areas.
The youth agribusiness scheme was launched in January 2016 by the AfDB and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in partnership with Nigeria’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The programme will be implemented across all the 36 States of the Federation and Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The ENABLE scheme aims to reach 1,000 “agripreneurs” per state, who can either create individual or joint businesses. The programme is expected to create a total of 220,000 jobs.
The AfDB said its financing will help the programme achieve its specific objectives, which are to create business opportunities and decent employment for young women and men along priority agricultural value chains in areas such as aquaculture, crops farming, marketing, processing, etc.
Under the ENABLE programme, beneficiaries will complete a two-week agribusiness orientation training and later serve as interns at existing agribusinesses for nine months. After the period, it is expected that beneficiaries will submit bankable agribusiness proposals for loan considerations of up to $50,000.
The Abidjan-based multilateral lender said the programme has two targeted beneficiaries: (1) unemployed young Nigerian graduates from any field of study who have finished their National Youth Service Corps programme (Greenfields); and (2) graduate youths who are already successfully engaged in agribusiness, but have no access to commercial loan to grow their businesses (Brownfields).
“In general, it is expected that all the youth that have successfully undergone the incubation program and satisfies the relevant criteria will move to the next stage of accessing the loans to set up their agribusinesses or may find employment with the private sector and the rural development community,” the AfDB said.
The programme also aims to promote sustainability by mainstreaming environmental and gender issues. As a result, the programme will target a 50-50 male and female participation across the Federation, aged 18-35 years.
The programme helped to increase the ownership of productive assets by women and improve their social status.
Poor rural-urban connectivity is often why poor farmers are completely at the mercy of middlemen.
IFAD said the project will help to develop partnerships among entrepreneurs in the fishing value-chain.
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