560,000 individuals, predominantly youth and women, will have access to dignified and fulfilling work by 2022, through the Mastercard Foundation Young Africa Works in Nigeria partnership with Babban Gona, an agricultural firm.
Recognizing that employment is a pathway out of poverty, the partnership seeks to empower individuals in the agricultural value chain and support the acceleration of agribusinesses by using technology to provide smallholders with training and education, access to cost-effective financing, as well as harvesting and marketing support services. These services and products encourage smallholders to overcome the challenges of supply-side fragmentation and low economies of scale. Babban Gona provides this support by franchising thousands of grassroots level farmer cooperatives, called “Trust Groups”.
Talatu, a female entrepreneur and Trust Group Leader said: “I am grateful to Babban Gona for changing my life. I look around and can see the transformation that has taken place in our home. My children are well-fed and in good schools; we have also refurbished our home and bought additional land. All I see around me is growth.”
Speaking about the importance of the partnership and the relevance of agriculture in creating opportunities for young people, Chidinma Lawanson, Country Head, Mastercard Foundation Nigeria stated: “Agriculture is among the most viable potentialsources of employment for young people in Africa. We are excited to be part of the process of empowering Nigerian youths,especially women, and its overall impact within this rural community. Our partnership with Babban Gona will serve as a catalyst for entrepreneurial reorientation, job creation, and sustainable livelihoods for smallholder farmers.”
Kola Masha, Managing Director of Babban Gona, stated that, “the organization’s goal is simple: to be the Earth’s highest impact business. We will accomplish this by simultaneously and dramatically scaling the number of individuals impacted, while also ensuring a depth of impact on each individual to truly transform their lives and the lives of their family.