The average age of Nigerian crop farmers is 52 years in a country where the average age of citizens is 18 years. In 5 -10 years, supply chains will be severely threatened if young produces are not encouraged to replace the current aging producers. Agriculture employs 70% of Nigerians and contributes 35% – 40% of GDP. Nigeria has over 52 million persons between the ages of 18-35 years, of which 51.6% are female. The unemployment rate among 15-34-year-olds is as high as 34.9%, and underemployment over 28.2%.
Experts project that agriculture will grow steadily over the medium term and present the highest opportunity for new job creation. Nigeria’s food and drink import bill stood at some US$4bn in 2017, which the government managed to prune down to US$3.6bn by the end of 2019. The government’s ambition is to encourage processors to invest in backward integration to conserve foreign exchange and stimulate local jobs and investment.
There are an estimated 15 million crop farmers in Nigeria, of which only 1.5 million are women. This grave inequity needs to be urgently redressed. This supports CBi Innovations Ltd.’s work in Grains Production and Information Aggregation. Young farmer development 2019-2021 has been assisted with a grant of US$240,000 for training, and monitoring and evaluation from AGRA.
Project Vision, Goal & Objectives
Independent of size, Nestlé wants farmers/suppliers to embrace transformational change and become fit for the future. They ensure future supply of safe, quality assured, regulatory compliant and price competitive raw materials to Nestlé factories. They lead a profitable farming business and appreciate a rewarding lifestyle.
Graduated Agripreneurs continue to supply Nestlé (through CBiIL) with high quality raw materials while successfully leading their farm in a continuously changing business environment. They are seen as natural leaders inspiring fellow farmers to copy with pride and develop their own farms to become suppliers of Nestlé.
Objectives are to provide
- Conducive Environment – Supporting framework, markets and partnering
- Future Farmers – Skills and capacity building
- Recruitment of Youth
- Training, coaching and mentorship
- Linkage with finance and markets
- Future Farms – Financial attractiveness, profitability, and new diversified production systems
372 young agripreneurs (18-35-year-olds) produce using improved varieties of maize on 1ha of land. These agriprenuers are supported by 39 young Community LIFE Agents (CLAs – field agents), who are trained to provide extension on Good Agronomic Practices (GAP) using technology (via digital handheld Android devices & SAP software), and physical services. The CLAs are also supported by a network of agronomists (See our Information Aggregation services for more information).
The target was to have 50% as women. Due to the onset of COVID-19 before the season commenced in 2020, we were only able to recruit about 15% women. However, the farming season delivered 3.5MT with best-performing farmers having adopted best practices from training on cultivation and Post-harvest handling and the seeds genetic potential recorded 8MT of maize at harvest.
Plans to scale exponentially the 372 young Agripreneurs to cultivate maize on 2-3Ha of land with adoption of Good Agronomic Practices (GAP) to achieve grains of premium quality, high yields of an average of 60-70bags/Ha with returns leading to higher profit margins to farmers and their family which exceeds average Nestlé factory worker’s salary (250 USD/month). They will be provided with a bundle service package that covers inputs, digital devices, training, warehousing and market linkages with guaranteed off-take by CBiIL.
2022 Season onwards:
This project is expected to scale to and maintain a minimum of 48,400 youth participants planting maize on a minimum of 5ha each with 50% being women and supported by 4,840 young CLAs. At this point we expect more of them to start adding value to the crop by observing high quality standards to avoid harvesting at high moisture levels preventing aflatoxin in the grains, drying, reduction of post-harvest losses and so on. We plan to also introduce agro-forestry dimensions which enable them to earn all-year-round by intercropping with e.g. Legumes to replenish the soil. We create a conducive environment by partnering with other organizations to enable establishment of secondary raw materials market to generate additional cash.
- 48,400 Trained Youth (18-35 year olds) Agripreneurs and 4,840 associated Community LIFE Agents (CLAs) 50% of which are women over 3 years.
- Higher Crop Yields from average of 2t/ha to min 6t/ha
- Mechanized farm and profitable farms making use of digital tools with farmers earning in excess of equivalent of $250/month
- Diversified cropping systems
- 100% traceable and 100% compliant crop (quality & food safety)
CBiIL Trains Supervisors for its Agriprenuership Program
CBIIL trains supervisors on 25th May, 2021 on maize farming techniques and support coordination for CLAs and farmers
Youth Agripreneurship Development 2020 Report
The YADP successfully registered, trained and supported 372 farmers to increase their maize productivity during the 2020 farming season.