Expanding Business Opportunities for African Youth in Agricultural Value Chains in Southern Africa (CultiAF)
This project will develop and test novel, creative, and bold business models that increase the participation of youth in fish and maize post-harvest value chains in Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. African youth and agriculture The agricultural sector provides income-generating opportunities for both rural and urban youth in Africa. The sector also benefits from young people's resourcefulness, technological savvy, and organizational capacity. There are few programs that seek to encourage young people, especially young women, to realize the agri-business opportunities in the fish and maize post-harvest value chains and serve as vehicles for commercializing research outputs. Opportunities and entrepreneurship The project will develop and implement methodologies to map specific agricultural product markets and to identify viable agri-business opportunities for youth. The project team will identify entrepreneurial youth and equip them with the skills to generate and implement effective business models and plans. They will disseminate successful business models and scale up entrepreneurial start-up experiences that could take agricultural innovations to potential markets. They will also connect innovations from research with private sector actors who can help commercialize them and achieve large-scale impacts. The project team will access its extensive network of experienced associates and partners. They will also connect with private and public institutions to scout for entrepreneurial youth and to serve as mentors, coaches, trainers, and role models. The lessons and evidence from this project will have broad relevance and general application to other agriculture and food security projects that aim to engage youth in agricultural value chains. Project leadership This project is a partnership between Zambia's Department of Fisheries, the University of Zambia, and Chancellor College, University of Malawi. It is funded through the Cultivate Africa's Future Fund (CultiAF), a joint program of the Australian International Food Security Research Centre of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research and IDRC. CultiAF supports research to achieve long-term food security in Eastern and Southern Africa.