Skills Training and Innovative Financing for Young Rural Agribusiness Entrepreneurs in Africa

These are interesting thoughts on the intersection of entrepreneurship and agriculture!


Entrepreneurship has become a catch-phrase. It needs lot more focus, an effectively steered supportive framework and lots of financial investments especially in sub-saharan Africa. Entrepreneurial challenges are well known, but governments and their development partners’ commitment and pragmatic will to address the teething issues has always been very limited. The need for SME and entrepreneurship development is especially relevant in Africa, where young and expanding populations require the creation of jobs. Fostering entrepreneurship development especially in the agri-food sector will be key to the economic and social progress and in addressing the bulging youth unemployment challenges in the sub-region.

There is the urgent need for proactively supporting young people in the West African sub-region to identify business opportunities across the agricultural value chain and also re-focusing the mindset of governments, individual and institutional investors to be innovative in their approach to providing financing for young agricultural entrepreneurs.
The bulging African youth population…

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Nigeria: Apply to the Agriculture Youth Empowerment Scheme (Agric Yes), Lagos

Great opportunity to getting going in Ag!

Kalu Samuel's Blog

The Lagos State Government in continuation of the 10 Point Agenda to create wealth, ensure food security and alleviate poverty through entrepreneurial training in modern agriculture is seeking applications from suitably qualified candidates for
placement in the third phase of the six months intensive training course, the Agriculture Youth Empowerment Scheme (Agric Yes).

The Agric-Yes programme is a 3 phased programme which includes a six month intensive hands-on practical based training in aquaculture, poultry, vegetable farming and bee keeping.
Other highlights of the programme are a six month exposure to agriculture best practices in aquaculture, poultry, vegetable farming and bee keeping in a commercial farm as well as a permanent settlement in Farm estates in various locations in the State.

Requirements for admission into the six months programme include:
* a passion for agriculture
* possession of a recognized
degree and diplomas from universities and polytechnics
* minimum of senior…

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Maybe a different approach of climate change conferences would help

This is an interesting perspective. Amazing just how many claim to be making an impact with these organisations yet little filters down to the place were impact is needed most.

The Food Futurist

The climate conference COP20 has ended in Lima. As usual, there was lots of hype and fear mongering beforehand. Then, after lots of false hope press releases and fun hobnobbing, the conclusion was exactly the same as usual and as expected: a few vague statements meaning about nothing and no agreement except the one to meet next year in Paris, because having to cancel two weeks in the City of Light… oh la la quel malheur!

As COP20 indicates, that was the 20th time that such a conference was organized, and that was the 20th time that the outcome and conclusion were so predictable. One can wonder why it is so difficult to make significant progress. Is there really a problem? If so, why is this charade going on and what do the world leaders waiting for. Well, maybe it is just because they have no vision for an alternative…

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Nigeria targets youths in new initiatives

Great initiative to encourage young Nigerians to venture into Agriculture. We’re very happy to be venturing into this huge market this year!

IITA Youth Agripreneurs

20141216_102851 (Copy) President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (M), Vice-President Namadi Sambo (2nd from left), and the Minister of Agricultue and Rural Development of Nigeria, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina (2nd from right) with the representatives of IITA Youth Agripreneurs: Bekee Barituka (far left) and Ohanwusi Evelyn (far right) at the exhibition booth during the YEAP launch

The Nigerian government has launched two initiatives to encourage young people to become more involved in agriculture, and stem the rising unemployment in the country.

The two initiatives which were inaugurated by President Goodluck Jonathan in December are Youth Employment in Agriculture Program (YEAP) and the Fund for Agricultural Finance in Nigeria (FAFIN).

The YEAP which is similar to the IITA Youth Agripreneur (IYA) model is designed to reposition the agricultural sector by involving, developing and raising 760,000 youths in agribusiness within the next five years.

FAFIN on the other hand is a financing vehicle targeting Nigeria’s…

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Thermal Agriculture New Year’s Message – 2015

As 2015 unfolds, the management and staff of Thermal Agriculture are filled with gratitude and inspired by the extraordinary community that you have helped us create through social media channels like facebook, twitter and this blog.

thermal agriculture logo

Through these platforms, we impacted on thousands of lives, and shared the knowledge and tools needed to tackle low productivity in Agriculture. This year we are expanding our focus to more crops and livestock and opening a new office in West Africa.

Our work is hard, but it’s also joyous and uplifting. And thanks to you, we are going further than we ever could have imagined – “Providing value to both farmers as well as the consumers is the platform we base our business on.”

Our vision has never been clearer, We add value in the agricultural supply chain by linking small scale farmers to better inputs, agricultural extension services, credit, logistics & markets.

Thanks for taking this journey with us.

Happy holidays and warmest wishes,

Holiday Mode

This month has been hectic, trying to get things done before the Christmas and New Year holiday shutdown. As far as I could tell many employees had kind of gone into hibernate mode so its a good thing that they go on holiday, hopefully they will return rejuvenated and ready to conquer. Personally I hope to steer clear of the clutches of entrepreneurial burnout.


Apparently entrepreneurial burnout impacts strongly on the judgement of the entrepreneur, they are often unable to reflect on what is happening to them. They certainly feel overwhelmed and very stressed, but often blame fate, circumstances and the failings of others for their predicament, rather than recognising that they suffer from burnout. Read more on the Business Partners Knowledge Hub, its worth it.

Another important area for most people is Administration, Finance and Accounting. I’ve watched some of friends (including Chartered Accountants) drive their businesses into the bush, so do yourself a favour and hire a smart accountant at the right time. That’s an article by @DorcasMuthoni, the founder of OpenWorld. It has been reposted on Bankelele. You need to follow @Bankelele to keep pace with developments in East Africa.

Lets hope 2015 is going to be better, cheaper and faster for your enterprise!

Five Tips For Every Young, Aspiring African Entrepreneur

Ventures Africa

I just came across an interesting article entitled Five Tips For Every Young Or Aspiring Nigerian Entrepreneur. It’s on the Ventures Africa website. Ventures Africa is an interesting bi-monthly print magazine and online business news service. Despite my love for Nigeria and its industrious people, I decided to replace the adjective Nigerian with African because I sincerely felt that the advice in the article is applicable across our 54 nations and indeed beyond our continent.

VENTURES AFRICA – “Entrepreneurship is not for everybody,” says Ini Onuk, CEO and Lead Consultant at ThistlePraxis,” the technicalities of running a business is different from your talent and creativity,” she adds, citing an example that qualified medical doctors, do not necessarily possess the requisite skills to manage a hospital.

Speaking on the Mara Mentor Talk Show, Onuk, who is an experience management consultant and a Mentor, on Africa’s largest entrepreneurship community, Mara Mentor, shared tips for young Africans who are continuous venturing into the entrepreneurship space.

“A role model is different from a mentor,” she says, “a mentor is someone you have an on-going communication and relationship with, thus young entrepreneurs should focus more on getting mentors, not necessarily role models.”

See Ini Onuk’s 5 tips for young African entrepreneurs below:

Go beyond be basics of what you do. Pay attention to your business and be the best at it. Break boundaries.

Put structure in place. Lack of structure helps businesses to fail. Although it is okay to start without a structure, but as soon as you do, start putting structures in place. Do not hide behind the myth: start-ups don’t have structures.

Never get comfortable. Mrs. Onuk shares this same philosophy as Steve Jobs, whose “stay hungry, stay foolish” idea keeps inspiring entrepreneurs worldwide. She however adds to it, as she says, “be consistent and be very conscious of customer service.”

Seek knowledge and improvement continuously. Trends change every day, so be abreast with the latest in your industry, and even beyond that – take cognizance of everything.

Take risks. Don’t stay in your comfort zone. Don’t be risk averse; always strive for greater heights, but in your entire risk taking, be strategic.

Seed Potato

seed potato

The quality of seed potato has a very big bearing on the final quality of potato produced. Over the last few weeks the team at Thermal Agriculture have been working on making seed potato available quickly and easily. We’re glad that you can now buy seed potato using Ecocash, Telecash, Visa, Zimswitch, Visa and Mastercard using Paynow. Thanks to the guys at Techzim for writing about the service!

I hope its another one of those innovations that keep us relevant and responsive to farmers and we hope to get involved in more and more crops.

thermal agriculture impact

World AIDS Day

Today World AIDS Day, lets keep making progress in fighting this deadly disease and the stigma that probably afflicts even more!


If you’re reading this…Congratulations, you’re alive. If that’s not something to smile about, then I don’t know what is.

As you may well know, MYC4’s mission is to raise capital for African entrepreneurs via an online marketplace and become a significant tool in the fight to end extreme poverty. To eradicate extreme hunger and poverty is goal 1 of the Millennium Development Goals. Speaking of Millennium Development Goals, today is World Aids Day. To combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases is goal 6 of the Millennium Development Goals.


World AIDS Day is a day dedicated to commemorate those who have passed on and to raise awareness about AIDS and the global spread of the HIV virus. World AIDS Day (WAD) is about increasing awareness, fighting stigma, improving education, mobilising resources and raising funds for the global response to HIV and AIDS.

Raising awareness of HIV is crucial to get to…

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