Young farmer tending to coffee crops with baby on her back © CABI

A CABI scientist and two international partners have presented new research which seeks to investigate the potential of Nigeria’s young people in the country’s agribusiness sector.

Adewale Ogunmodede, agricultural economist and CABI scientist along with colleagues from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and Olabisi Onabanjo University looked into how the Nigerian N-Power Agro Program contributes to boosting the economy through its mandate to create employment and improve income through agribusiness for the Nigerian youth.

In Nigeria, several unsuccessful attempts have occurred to grow the Nigerian economy, empower youth and tackle youth underemployment or unemployment – a problem which affects 55.4% of the teeming youth population.

According to the study, around 60% of Nigeria’s 200 million people are ‘young people’ aged 18 to 35 years. While development partners and researchers suggest that the participation of the youth in agribusiness would create more employment and reduce poverty; there is a surprising dearth of evidence in which agribusiness interventions have worked and have not worked. This has made it difficult to make evidence-based policies.

The research, published by the journal Sustainability attempts to fill that gap by evaluating the impact of the N-power program which was launched as part of Nigeria’s development plan 2015-2020 to tackle youth unemployment, food insecurity, and develop Nigeria’s economy.

The findings from the study reveal results based on age, education, gender; citing these as baseline reasons for lack of uptake of the training provided by the N-Power Agro Program. However, more than half of the study participants received employment or business opportunities which suggests that the N-Power Agro Program has succeeded in influencing youth’s willingness towards agribusiness.

In addition, the paper offers a range of policy recommendations such as establishing intervention programs that have a particular focus on younger people between 20 and 35 years. The paper also suggests that wider implementation of the N-Power Agro Program in other countries could help improve incomes, transform employment economies and develop agricultural markets in Africa.

Adewale Ogunmodede, lead author of the study, said, “Upscaling the N-Power Agro Program to more recipients in Nigeria and across other African countries; working with youth, rural communities and the private sector will help to bridge the skills deficit in Africa’s youth population, develop their capacities for entrepreneurship, and increase job opportunities.”

Additional information

Full paper reference

Ogunmodede, A.M.; Ogunsanwo, M.O.; Manyong, V. Unlocking the Potential of Agribusiness in Africa through Youth Participation: An Impact Evaluation of N-Power Agro Empowerment Program in Nigeria. Sustainability 2020, 12, 5737. DOI: 10.3390/su12145737

The paper, which belongs to the Special Issue ‘Graduate Employment and  Sustainability in a Global and Changing Labour Market: Challenges and Opportunities for Higher Education, is available to view here: