In celebration of Youth Month, agriculturists from across the continent of Africa are set to attend a free virtual discussion on youth participation in entrepreneurship and farming.
Hosted by Corteva Agriscience and the Entrepreneurship Development Academy at the Gordon Institute of Business School, the event on Thursday, 10 June 2021 boasts a top all-women speaker line-up.
This includes Ruramiso Mashumba, a farmer who holds several accolades both in Zimbabwe and abroad, and Emma Naluyima, a Ugandan veterinarian, urban farmer, teacher, and animal and crop farming instructor.
Nneile Nkholise, a cattle farmer and product engineer who co-founded 3DIMO, a Mzansi and US-based agritech company, will also be participating.
Mzansi will be represented by Thato Moagi, the first South African to receive the Nuffield Agriculture Scholarship and former member of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s panel on land reform and agriculture.
The event will be hosted by radio presenter Mpho Mashita.
Tackling youth unemployment
Organisers confirm that the two-hour virtual discussion will engage around issues impacting youth interest and exposure to venturing into agriculture. There will also be practical advice for first-generation female farmers.
Young people in South Africa make up more than a third of the population. Yet, the latest research show that youth account for 63% of the nation’s unemployed. The Youth Month event will not only encourage entrepreneurship and farming, but also inspire attendees to believe that their hustle is not in vain.
The keynote speaker, Ndidi Nwuneli, is a renowned businesswoman, author, and TED Global speaker. Also, she is the founder of LEAP Africa, co-founder of AACE Foods, managing partner of Sahel Consulting Agriculture and Nutrition, and the chairperson of Nourishing Africa.
Nwuneli serves on many boards, including the Rockefeller Foundation, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, AGRA, and the African Philanthropy Forum.
As part of its 2030 sustainability goals, Corteva says it has committed to empowering women.
To this end, they are committed to engaging with and supporting women in agriculture across the globe – from the largest farms in the most advanced economies to the smallest subsistence farms in the developing world.
Furthermore, the event builds on Corteva and GIBS’ immersive programme which serves as a development intervention for women farmers to develop their entrepreneurial, business and leadership skills to manage and sustain profitable farms.
“Our goal is to inspire young people to consider the agri-food sector as a viable and profitable business opportunity,” said Betty Kiplagat, government and industry affairs leader for Corteva Agriscience in Africa and the Middle East.
“This collaboration with stakeholders across the continent will help us to develop the entire ecosystem to support women and young people in farming.”
Deirdre Steeneveldt, associate director of the GIBS EDA added, “Farming is not for the faint-hearted and success does not happen overnight. Young women especially, do not have many examples of female farmers who have gone from humble beginnings to become empowered entrepreneurs that can dominate this competitive male-dominated field.
“This roundtable aims to motivate young women to pursue a career in farming, that, with hard work and determination, can provide lucrative benefits for farmers, their families, communities, and the economy alike.”