Youth Initiative for Sustainable Agriculture (YISA) Nigeria trains rural young men and Women in Entrepreneurship using the Colombia Business School award winning REVCEL Module: Rural Entrepreneurial Venture Creation and Experimental Learning (REVCEL) under the Creating Opportunities for Rural Youths (CORY) Project, an IFAD funded project covering Four (4) African countries of Nigeria, Cameroun, Benin Republic and Gambia.

The training which was held in Makurdi the capital city of Benue State from 1-6 November 2015 at Green Belt Hotels trained the last batch of 48 beneficiaries of the CORY project drawn from 6 States to make up the 150 REVCEL Trainees for the year 2015 from 15 States of the country.

Declaring the training programme closed, the Founder/National Coordinator of YISA Mr. Ogirinye Innocent challenged the trainees to utilize what they have learnt during the full Residency programme: ” Gone are the days when the primitive question that dominates the mind of every farmer is CAN I PRODUCE?, asking this question first is why our farmers are still among the poorest set of people, that is why in spite of the fact that 80% of the locally produced food products comes from the small holders, the small holders are still very poor because almost everybody is a food producer while the players at the remaining side of the chain are very few and as a result the produce are taken very cheaply from the farmers and rewards the middle man more than the producer. The time for the youths to correct the mistake of the past is now, and the best set of people that will first ask IF THE PRODUCE CAN BE SOLD is all of you in this hall, because Agriculture/Food is the biggest business in the world, the world population is project to hit 8.5 Billion in 2030 and this population must eat food and 65% of the arable land that can produce that food lies in here in Africa, You are an African youth and the process of making yourself to be among the next batch of African Millionaires begins from this hall”, he concluded.

He particularly thanked the co-facilitators including the Executive Director of YISA Rural Farm School; Comr. Onyeaka Kelechi for the professional manner the training was handled.

Introducing another YISA Programme to the Youths, the Executive of the Farm School, Comr. Kelechi Onyeka did explained that the YISA Rural Farm School (RUFS) project is out to impact the needed Agro-skills into the youths by doing it practically because we believing acquiring a new skills by doing it is the best form of Teaching and that is YISA RUFS does. We make sure you learn on the job.

Background of the CORY Project

The Creating Opportunities for Rural Youth (CORY) project is a new initiative that supports young rural women and men in West and Central Africa to become entrepreneurs. Over its 3-year implementation period (2014-2017), the CORY project will focus on rural young women and men, ages 15-35 years, who are involved in agriculture production or activities associated with rural business. The project also targets rural youth institutions for business training, advocacy, networking and knowledge exchange – all with a 1:1 female-male ratio.

By the end of 2017, CORY project will:

  • Train 2,880 rural youth agripreneurs and 43,200 farm and non-farm rural youth entrepreneurs
  • Launch 480 rural youth enterprises, and
  • Facilitate 2,400 rural youth mentor-entrepreneur pairs.

CORY Project will achieve these outcomes through three main components:

Knowledge management and research/survey of business development services
Provision of rural entrepreneurial training, mentorship, and business development services, and
Micro-credit lending.

A consortium of organizations called CORY Consortium is managing the implementation of the CORY Project. The CORY Consortium includes:

  • Center for Entrepreneurship Education and Development (CEED) in Nova Scotia, Canada ( Grant Recipient)
  • Venture For All (VFA), an affiliate of the Columbia Business School in New York, USA
  • Susterra, Inc. in Boston, USA,
  • Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN),
  • National Implementing Partners (NIPs) in West and Central Africa, and
  • Regional Implementing Partners (RIPs) around the world

YISA as National Implementation Partner

YISA and Small Holder Foundation as National Implementing Partners (NIPs) from Nigeria will oversee the implementation of the scheme in Nigeria in close workings with the Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) and Community Based Natural Resource Management Program-Niger Delta (CBNRMP-ND) which are IFAD funded projects in Nigeria.

So far 150 Nigerian youths have been trained on the Columbia Business School “Rural Entrepreneurial Venture Creation and Experimental Learning (REVCEL)” business Module for the year 2015.