Nestlé, AGRA and Sahel Grains have awarded three young farmers who have embraced agriculture as a business at Tumu in the Sissala East District of the Upper West Region for their excellence in maize farming.
This strategic partnership formed in July 2019 between Nestlé, AGRA and Sahel Grains initiated the Youth Agri-preneurship Development Program (YADIS), to build the capacity of young farmers to address youth unemployment and to mitigate the declining workforce in agriculture due to ageing farmers.
The YADIS program since inception has trained 226 Young Agri-preneurs with females representing 36%. As part of the partnership, AGRA provides financial and technical support, Sahel Grains implements the YADIS program and buys the grains produced by the farmers for further cleaning and aggregation, while Nestlé provides technical assistance and ready market for the high-quality gains produced which meets the quality standard required for the production of Nestlé Cerelac® maize variant.
The recognition of the three for outstanding youth on the program for their exceptional performances is as a result of their output by applying trainings in good agronomic practices, post-harvest handling services, grain quality management and crop aggregation.
The awardees, Nagali Adams a 28 year old university graduate, Dajan Adams a 37 year old SHS graduate, and Kasim Sakina a 26 year old female university graduate, have received 1.5 metric tons of Yara Actyva fertilizer from YARA, support for an acre model farm, a certificate of honor, and Nestlé food and beverages.
Together, Nagali, Dajan, Kasim and the other youth on the YADIS program are not only making a business in agriculture, they have become role models for their peers and ultimately saving Ghana foreign exchange that hitherto could have been used to import maize into Ghana due to the high standards that Nestlé requires for the production of baby food.
Speaking on video, Fatih Ermis, Head of Agricultural Services at Nestlé Central and West Africa said “we entered this partnership to help equip and encourage young people to create jobs in Agriculture as it is an attractive venture. This will help bridge unemployment gap and help young people earn sufficient income to manage their families and have decent life in the rural area thereby reducing rural-urban migration. For us at Nestlé, this is a way we contribute to building thriving and resilient communities through agriculture.”
He added that the project is targeting to achieve minimum $2400 income for every Young Agri-preneur with improved technology and skills.
AGRA Ghana’s Country Manager, Kofi Biney, noted that “AGRA is delighted to support this program which is helping ensure the future of young farmers not only in Ghana, but also in Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria. He indicated that the objectives of YADIS is consistent with AGRA’s goal to transform smallholder agriculture from a solitary struggle to survive into farming as a business that thrives.
He added that, “YADIS program has trained 226 young agripreneurs in Ghana – 72 of them women – in good farming and post-harvest management techniques, to help them gain a better appreciation of the business side of farming,”
Kwame A. Boateng, the Founder and CEO of Sahel Grains, said that Ghana can meet the highest and most stringent maize quality standards, evidenced by our ability to consistently meet the highest quality requirements that Nestle demands. Additionally, we are able to export maize to the UK and other countries in Europe. This is a testament to hard work and dedication of the young and talented farmers that we work with under the Youth in Agriculture program (YADIS).