In most of the informal assessments we have been conducting among our members, youth access to knowledge, skills, information and education is number one among the key challenges youth faces across all interventions from access to finance, access to market, business development, marketing and Good Agriculture Practices.
Insufficient access to knowledge and information hinders the development of entrepreneurial ventures. Young people lack experience and knowledge of how productive agriculture is done, how to establish and manage a business, how to market produces and network with other players in the value chain
To cope with these challenges, RYAF introduced the following interventions:
- National Agriculture internship program which is implemented with the support of the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) and Rwanda Development Board (RDP). By the end of 2020-2021 Fiscal Year, more than 1,701 young graduates had benefited from the internship program. By the end of FY 2021-2022, RYAF is planning to evaluate the impact of the intervention in terms of job creation (building young entrepreneurs and/or building professional extension service providers).
- Trainings: RYAF work with various development partners in line with the needs defined in its strategic plan and trains youth across various topics, enabling the youth to perform effectively and efficiently in agriculture and livestock value chains nodes and building youth business and entrepreneurial capacity. Since 2020, RYAF is implementing Rural Youth Employment Support Project in consortium with Kilimo Trust and Rwanda Polytechnics. R-YES Project is a 5-year project that is being implemented in Rwanda from 2020 -2024. The project is co-financed by International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) and BMZ. The R-YES project is part of a larger IFAD program that will focus on creation of employment opportunities for rural youth in Africa through support to integrated agribusiness hubs. The goal of the project is to contribute to sustainable employment (self and decent wage) and income generating opportunities for 1,200 youth in agriculture related activities in Rwanda through an integrated agribusiness hub. The overall development objective of the project is to develop an integrated agribusiness hub to build entrepreneurial, technical/managerial and employability capacities of rural youth for sustainable employment. This will be achieved through two specific objectives i.e. (1) Building integrated agri-business capacities of rural youth by identifying strategic partnerships to develop sustainable and innovative agribusiness hub; and (2) Generating empirical evidence of the developed and tested integrated agribusiness hub models to inform policy to drive scaling up the models to create jobs for youth.
Young graduates’ engagement in the project implementation with partners: The issues of unemployment especially for the youth have been considered as serious developmental challenges that require immediate, consulted and collaborative efforts. Mostly is attributed to limited skills and knowledge having correlation with limited experience for the young graduates in agriculture sectors. To cope with the challenges, RYAF partners with different development partners for availing the employment opportunities which strengthen youth experiences while contributing to Youth career development (skills and knowledge) and acquiring the initial capital for starting own agribusiness. Since, 2018 RYAF has accumulated experience of partnering with SPIU IFAD Funded Project in implementing Rwanda Dairy Development Project (RDDP), Post-Harvest and Agribusiness Support Project (PASP), SPIU World Bank-KOICA Funded Projects for the implementation of the Sustainable Intensification and Food Security Project (SAIP), NAEB through Reserve Force as sub-contractor (Coffee distribution agro-inputs distribution and 24,000 farmers through coffee ToT project). By now, more than +1000 young graduates benefited from those interventions.