Engaging young agripreneurs: Options to include youth in private sector extension and advisory services in Rwanda and Uganda
Engaging young agripreneurs in private sector extension and advisory services (EAS) is critical for livelihoods in rural areas where millions of youth are unemployed and face many barriers to entry into agriculture. A study in Rwanda and Uganda examined this and found seven models to engage youth in EAS as providers or recipients of the services: (1) training youth to become agripreneurs; (2) village agents; (3) youth-led and other fee-based EAS providers; (4) paraprofessional EAS workers; (5) EAS internships; (6) credit and financial services; and (7) youth agripreneurship awards (Table 1). The models served different purposes, and all seven provided important benefits to youth. Achieving sustainability and scale were key measures of success that fee-based EAS and village agents models achieved while having high benefits to youth through earnings. Internships had high participation rates for women, although the potential for scaling may be limited. Training youth to become agripreneurs, though potentially of high value to many poor youth, relied on government and donor assistance. Paraprofessional EAS workers had modest benefits in terms of earnings and some potential for being sustainable and scalable. Credit also had high potential but appeared to be difficult to make sustainable and scalable. Youth agripreneurship awards were important and low-cost but relied on the generosity of donors.