A YOUNG Nigerian, Ms. Fatima Ademoh, has emerged the overall winner of the 2012 “Farming Now” category of the 2012 Innovation Challenge competition, instituted by The Rockefeller Foundation, aimed at identifying revolutionary ideas in various fields of human endeavour.
Ms Ademoh won $100,000 grant from the foundation to finance the development of a strategic plan for the implementation of a youth agriculture entrepreneurship training centre in Nigeria. Fatima Ademoh successfully won the bid after she competed with three other participants.
Ajima Farms and General Enterprises Nigeria Ltd was awarded a grant to implement a project based on a strong proposal submitted by Ms. Ademoh. Her project aims primarily to promote youth participation in agriculture in Nigeria.
Ms. Ademoh graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from the prestigious American University of Nigeria (AUN), Yola.
In 2012, The Rockefeller Foundation identified revitalising the agricultural sector as one of several key global challenges thus establishing the “Farming Now” section of the competition with the aim of generating fresh and innovative ideas that would attract and encourage unemployed youth to engage in the agricultural sector, thereby infusing youthful energy into this vital sector of the economy.
Youth Agro Entreprenuer (YAE), the project being piloted by Ms. Ademo, will seek to rebrand farming as a viable, profitable and honorable profession for a new generation of farmers.
According to Ademoh, YAE will be a social enterprise incubator that will teach youth the agricultural practices and business skills required to support the development of youth-led agricultural enterprises.
“YAE aspires to become a financially self-sufficient organisation, which will empower unemployed youth with the knowledge, skills and drive to become consultants and agricultural entrepreneurs.
“It is my hope that this will contribute to alleviating the problems of extreme poverty and high levels of youth unemployment in Nigeria. YAE research team will visit self-sufficient schools that exist in Africa and South America where they will observe the process and procedure of how hands-on and knowledge-based learning is being practiced and applied,” she explained.
According to her, her team will be conducting research on the feasibility of the training centre and developing partnership with stakeholders, as well as communicating the results of the research to the public.