February 18, 2019 was a memorable day for the aspiring agripreneurs of ENABLE Youth Cameroon, who are now being trained in 11 of the 14 Youth Agribusiness Incubation Centers (YABIC) set up by the Program across Cameroon. From May 17, 2018, till now, a lot of efforts has been done for the recruitment of the first batch of 512 trainees, which was launched on October 3, 2019, by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Five months after the publication of the call for application and the recruitment process, ENABLE Youth Cameroon now has its first agripreneurs.

February 18, 2019 is not only a memorable day to ENABLE Youth Cameroon because it marks the beginning of the incubation in the YABIC hosted at Institut Agricole d’Obala. It is also a date that will forever remain engraved in the memory of the youth trained by the ENABLE Youth Program, as it marks a new era for most of them.

I came here because I wanted to become an agricultural entrepreneur. I hope this training will give me the tools I need to achieve my dream and materialize the ideas of millions that I have in my head” says a young woman agripreneur trained in the YABIC of Ebolowa. Paule, 24 years old, is following the training with a lot of enthusiasm and determination.

For Paule, like most of the 1.657 candidates who applied to the program this year, ENABLE Youth Cameroon is the opportunity they lacked so far to engage in agribusiness, a sector dominated by negative perception, lack of skills and financial support. With the incubation, they are gaining access to training and skills in Business Development, Value Addition, Marketing of agricultural products, Modern production, etc., necessary tools for the budding young agripreneurs they are. Most importantly, some courses like Leadership and Self-Management also help them in self-development and changing their mindsets.

The above courses are just the beginning of a 12-months intensive agribusiness incubation based on the IITA youth agripreneurs model. After the theoretical training, the agripreneurs shall carry out internships in successful agribusinesses and have in-house experience as agripreneurs in the core pilot enterprises they are developing. During the incubation period, they are mainly expected to develop bankable business plans which will be funded by partner financial institutions.

May 17, 2019 will mark the first year since the agreement for the implementation of ENABLE Youth Cameroon has been signed between IITA and the Agricultural Value Chain Development Project (AVC_DP). Till today, April 16, 2019, 11 of the 14 YABICs where the 512 aspiring agripreneurs of ENABLE Youth Cameroon are trained to have been launched across Cameroon. The YABICs hosted by 11 host institutions are in 11 different sites located in 4 regions namely the Center, the East, the Littoral and the South. It is worth mentioning that due to reasons unrelated to the Project, the incubation will not start in the South-West region this year. However, all 14 YABICs will be operational by the end of April 2019.

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