The FAO estimates that there are over 239 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa that are hungry and malnourished. Millions of African youth roam the streets daily in search of jobs. Unemployment is at an all-time high.
All these problems have fueled a rise in crime and terrorism. Most Africans live on under $2 per day, meaning school children go to school hungry and pregnant women sleep in the night with empty stomachs.
Despite all these challenges, the FAO estimates that Africa is home to 55 percent of world’s most fertile and underutilized soil. We are also home to the youngest population in the world. Why, then, are we HUNGRY?
Our youth are not engaged in agriculture. Some of them believe that agriculture is only for the poor and old. Some believe it’s a back breaking job and should only be done by people who live in rural communities.
The FAO estimates that the average age of farmers in Africa is 67. This is the reason why we are hungry. Youth are not only energetic, they are also innovative. Involving youth in agriculture will be a great way to help over 239 million hungry people in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Africa is set to hit 2 billion people by the year 2050. Involving youth in agriculture is the surest way we can combat food insecurity from now onward.
My idea, the Amazing Agricultural Academy (www.agricacademy.com- website still under construction) is an online school that aims to:
Monitor youth in agriculture. FOR FREE.
We aim to use social media, videos, talks and pictures to inspire youth in agriculture. We will then encourage them to sign up to our website, enroll and study for a specific number of hours. Courses will be sourced from seasoned agriculturists. The participants will study these courses for free from our website online and through their smartphones, laptops, tablets and desktop computers.
After completing the coursework, students then get assessed and are awarded a diploma and certificates. We then connect students to mentors. Mentors will be drawn from a pool of already registered and experienced farmers. These farmers will have passed a verification procedure.
Amazing Agricultural Academy will also perform functions such as monitoring youth already involved in agriculture, highlighting success stories, correcting mistakes, sharing the latest proven innovations and connecting young farmers to the latest agricultural information.
Examples of courses we intend to offer:
- Certificate in bee farming
- Certificate in goat farming
- Certificate in maize farming
- Diploma in vertical farming
- Diploma in hydroponics
- Diploma in animal health and wellness, etc.
I aim to start up this business on or before July 2016. So far, I am already developing the website needed for this service. I am hoping to complete it on or before the end of March, 2016. I am also going to develop the mobile application on or before the end of April, 2016.
I aim to have sourced material for the courses we will be starting off with on or before June 10, 2016. Before July 2016, I aim to have graduated and mentored 300,000 youths. Within 3 years of starting up, I aim to have the website already transcribed into 2 additional languages, namely, French and Portuguese. Within 4 years of starting up, the aim is to have taught and mentored 4 million youth in agriculture.
Should we achieve our aim, we will be reducing food insecurity and unemployment greatly. For example, if every member of our proposed 4 million student target could own a farm that can feed 20 people and employ 2 additional people, we would be reducing unemployment by over 8 million (4 million*3-including the agripreneur) and they will be providing food to 160 million (20*4 million) people.
This goal is possible. Because we are offering our services online, we are capable of reaching out to more people on a limited budget.
We aim to generate revenue through sale of certificates and advertisements placed on our websites.
Below is my budget estimate for 8 months:
Data plan/internet services-$500
Mobile app development-$500
Office space and equipment-$2000
Cost of course materials/tutors-$3500
Contingency/bank charges $300
We aim to source $3000 from families and friends.
Adesuyi Tosin Emmanuel is a 21-year-old Nigerian who successfully started an entrepreneurship group in his university. He sees youth involvement in agriculture as the best way to address Africans’ food insecurity and unemployment. He is currently a 400-level zoology student with two diploma certificates from an online school.
Tosin has a diploma in business management and entrepreneurship and a diploma in project management, both from www.alison.com
Tosin has been mentored by Dr. Adebowale onatolu ‘’debo’’, Professor at Forbes School of Business at Ashford University (Bridgepoint Education), and Miss Amber Wright, a business owner with a wealth of experience. Both have expressed interest in this project and are committing time and effort to bring this project to reality.
Amazing Agricultural Academy is poised to be the first online agricultural school in Africa. We will also be providing our courses for free. I am committed to making Africa hunger and unemployment free.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Tosin Adesuyi (Nigeria) – adesuyitosin2014[at]gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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