FAO Investment Centre

Promoting rural entrepreneurship among Senegalese youth


In sub-Saharan Africa, the working age population will likely double by 2050 – even sooner in some parts.?

In Senegal, where youth are a majority, rural unemployment and underemployment rates are high. As a result, many young people are fleeing to cities or abroad in search of work. For them, agriculture is not lucrative enough to earn a decent living. But many young Senegalese are eager to become agricultural entrepreneurs.

With this in mind, a new IFAD-funded project is promoting the social and professional inclusion of young people by creating decent job opportunities for 150 000 rural Senegalese youth, half of them women, along agro-sylvo-pastoral and fishery value chains.

The Investment Centre helped design the six-year USD 93.2 million project and is providing technical assistance in its implementation. The project supports the Government of Senegal’s priority of tackling youth unemployment, poverty and rural migration while also strengthening those value chains to generate economic growth, added value and wealth.

The project seeks to make agriculture more profitable and attractive to young people. That means creating opportunities in modern agriculture – from production and processing to marketing and service provision – that not only feed and employ rural youth but also enrich their lives.

The project will help improve their access to installation capital and productive credit to create or expand businesses. And it will help them, through apprenticeships, tutorships and business development services, acquire the relevant skills to sustainably manage their activities.?

Innovative facilities will introduce modern production and processing tools and techniques, including digital agriculture, and encourage greater uptake of new information and communication technologies. The project will also support beneficiaries to tap into niche markets, like local markets, organic farming and subregional and international export markets.?

The project is promoting pro-youth agribusiness partnerships with farmer organizations and with inter-professional organizations and other private sector operators.

Helping young rural agricultural entrepreneurs invest in and diversify their businesses will contribute to more inclusive and sustainable growth in the country and to achieving the SDGs.

Photo credit ?FAO
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