Our young entrepreneurs

The Young Entrepreneur Challenge Fund has been set up to support young dynamic people who want to create a business involving disseminating agricultural videos to help farmers and rural businesses, to make agriculture more attractive to youth and reach more women in rural communities. The solar-powered smart projector kit they receive has the Access Agricultural videos in local languages, enabling them to have an impact at scale in the rural areas they serve. Here, meet our challenge fund winners – true Entrepreneurs for Rural Access

Benin

Abdoul-Wahab ADJIBI FATAOU
With Fréjus as a team member is Abdoul-Wahab ADJIBI FATAOU. He is thirty-two years old and has a Master’s degree in Project Management and Monitoring. Abdoul-Wahab is a GIZ ProCIVA Business Coach and has been working with young entrepreneurs for a number of years.
Clémence ASSONGBA
is from Benin Republic. She is 29 years old and holds a Master’s degree in Agriculture majoring in Management of Natural Resources. She has 7 years working experience with farmers mostly with garden farmers who use chemical fertilisers which is a dominant practice in Benin rural areas. However, thanks to many projects, she has facilitated training farmers on many concepts regarding the use of organic fertilisers and nutrition. Clémence is passionate about agriculture and specifically about natural resource management and preservation. What motivated her to apply for being an ERA was to use the smart projector to build farmers’ capacity and develop a business out of this.
Fréjus M. Boris GLONI
is 28 years old. He holds a Master’s degree in Agriculture with Sociology. Fréjus is a GIZ certified expert in agricultural value chain analysis and rural land use. He is a regional representative of the AlimenTerre Benin Network. Fréjus has over six years of working experience in rural development and is passionate about sustainable agriculture and respecting the environment. Currently, Fréjus is the Executive Director of ‘Homme Développement’ ONG. His ambition is to contribution effectively to food security and agriculture revolution in his beloved Benin.
Gloria Sandrine da MATHA SANT’ANNA
is twenty- three (23) years old and holds a Master’s Degree in Food Process Bioengineering. She is a Member of the Ashoka Sahel Changemakers network, and an agronomist who wants to improve the livelihoods of women. Her vision is to contribute to a world where responsible agriculture is a reliable and viable source of food and income. Gloria is co-leading with a team the startup AgriPreciz which aims to provide to agricultural actors the knowledge and means to be agents of change to solve hunger and poverty issues in Africa, particularly in Benin, through responsible and sustainable agriculture.
Gouroubera W. Mori
holds a Master's degree in agroeconomics from the University of Parakou, Benin. He worked for 5 years in two Non-Governmental Organisations (DEDRAS-ONG and CANAL DEVELOPPEMENT) in the field of extension and agricultural advice in Benin. He is currently a member of ISADA-Consulting (ICTs for Sustainable Agricultural Development) in Africa which aims to use new information and communication technologies, such as agricultural training videos, to revolutionise agriculture in Africa.
Hilaire KODJO
Working with Clémence as a team member is Hilaire KODJO. He is 30 years old and also from Benin Republic. Hilaire has a BSc in aquaculture and three years working experience with a local NGO called CEBEDES Xudodo. During these three years, he has worked with garden farmers by building their capacity to improve their production techniques by using organic fertilisers. Hilaire is passionate about agriculture and his long term ambition is to become a big agricultural entrepreneur.
Iyabo Angélique GNONLONSA
Another member of the team is Iyabo Angélique GNONLONSA. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Agro-food process Bioengineering and has one year of working experience in agricultural extension thanks to PPAAO and PADA projects. She is vice president of a gardening cooperative in her district (Cove) and the manager of Agro Fenix enterprise which produces and processes garden products. Her ambition is to a pioneer in garden products production by using organic fertiliser in the Zou region and provide technical knowledge to garden farmers.
Jonathan BALLEY
The second member of the AgriPreciz team is Jonathan BALLEY. He is twenty- nine years old, graduated in Project Management and is passionate about community development. Jonathan is a member of the African Forest Forum and co-leads AgriPreciz with Gloria. His ambition is to contribute to food security in Africa, particularly in Benin.
Koubalo Ulrich AKATE
The third member of the team is Koubalo Ulrich AKATE. He is twenty two years old, and from Togo. Like the other members of his team he has a Bachelor’s degree in Agro-food process Bioengineering. He has two years of working experience including in quality and control management systems in BB Togo SA brewery and also at IMDID-TOGO NGO.
Mahutondji Cédric AGBESSI
is a young agripreneur from Benin Republic. He is twenty-five years old and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Agro-food process Bioengineering. He has three years working experience as an agricultural extension agent and is the owner of Agro Fenix enterprise and general secretary of a farmers’ cooperative in his district (Cove). Mahutondji is one of the founders of a journal call” PLUME VERTE DE L'UNA”. His ambition is to be an inspiring agricultural entrepreneur who contributes to the development of his community through support and technical assistance.
Nabahani AYOA-SANNI TASFAOU
The fourth team member is Nabahani AYOA-SANNI TASFAOU, He is twenty- five years old and has a degree in Tropical Agricultural Studies specialising in garden products production. For one year he has been working at Homme Développement NGO with the garden farmers association. Nabahani also has his own farm so he can practise what he tells others!
Rachidatou OROU TOURA
The third team member is Rachidatou OROU TOURA. She is 26 years old and has a B.Sc. in Geography. Rachidatou is a community animator at Homme Développement NGO. She has been involved in farmer training on organic fertiliser production and in sensitising farmers on the importance of using organic fertilisers.
Tinos Noé ANAGO
The third member of this team is Tinos Noé ANAGO. He is twenty- two years old and holds a B.Sc. in Software Engineering. He is passionate about artificial intelligence. After immersion experiences as a computer engineer at the National Institute of Agricultural Research in Benin, he joined the team of AgriPreciz in order to participate in supporting agricultural projects with an emphasis on technological innovation. His ambition is to contribute to the technological development of Africa through solutions based on computer technologies for various sectors including agriculture, in order to help meet the challenge of food security.

India

Kumar Neeraj
‘Revolution will be planted!’ The organisation was co-founded by Kumar Neeraj in 2017 with the idea of transforming the prevailing unprofitable agricultural system in his village Durdih from monoculture farming to ecological agroforestry where diversification of crops is welcomed. From his childhood, he has been passionate about rural life which he finds to be more sustainable and inclusive, close to natural environment. He realised that now his village is not self-sustainable any more. The people are migrating to cities and the new generation is not interested in farming in spite of having all basic resources. So, after his study, he founded Khetee at his own village which conducts community development projects focusing primarily on agroforestry.

Ivory Coast

Konan N'guessan Richmond
His passion for entrepreneurship started when he was a student following a conference in 2017. While working in collaboration with his associates, he co-founded the start-up “Fang Group” (specializing in the design and implementation of agricultural projects). He became a student-entrepreneur and joined the Entrepreneurship Club of INP-HB (Institut National Polytechnique Félix Houphouët Boigny de Yamoussoukro) where he is the Community Manager since 2018. After obtaining his diploma in Agricultural Engineering, he joined the company Société Africaine de Plantations d'Hévéas (SAPH) where he is currently working as a phytopathologist while at the same time continuing his entrepreneurship projects to help his community.

Malawi

Brian Thafale Anafi
obtained a Diploma in Agriculture in 2015. Brian developed a passion in Crop trading, before joining the Ministry of Agriculture as an Extension Officer. This created an opportunity of collaborating with local farmers to search for viable markets and to sell their produce in bulk. After observing some market failures in crop trading in 2017 he embarked on value addition. He co-founded "Zafarm Group" together with his colleagues Alexander Kadyampakeni and Erick Anafi. Alexander is the finance and human resource manager, while Erick is the operations manager. Zafarm Group works with farmers in peanut butter production and sausage making. Their vision is to impart the necessary entrepreneurial skills in local farmers and entire communities, so that they view agriculture as a viable business that can transform their lives and consider it as a drive to economic growth of Malawi. The smart projector will be another tool to move their vision to reality.
Chrissy Awali
is a member of Ubunthu Go Green a Mangochi based youth club along with colleagues MacDonald Mthaphwi, Francina Hante, Austin Phiri and Luka Bulla. Ubunthu Go Green provides advisory services to smallholder farmer clubs. In-addition, it works with organisations like Arts and Documentaries Malawi to empower youths financially by engaging them in income generating activities like agriculture. Ubunthu Go Green aims to promote sustainable agriculture as it helps to improve livelihood of rural people and the smart projector will provide a great source of information on this for farmers.
Emmanuel Napolo
is the Chairman for TIWALE Youth Club on the outskirts of Machinga. TIWALE is the brainchild of Merenia Paul who began the group. Unfortunately in 2017 Merenia passed away, not seeing success of TIWALE. However in 2019, the club became reactived and now works in areas of child protection, agriculture, HIV and AIDS, youth and women empowerment. TIWALE Club works with the agricultural extension officers on backyard and horticultural farming. They hope to grow this venture with the use of the smart projector and train more youths in contributing to their communities as they empower themselves. Currently the club has a membership of 15 members with 9 boys and 16 girls.
Finiyasi Lembani Gamba
from Sourthen Malawi in Nsanje district, started his business in 2011. Initially he sold movie DVDs and music CDs in markets around the district and remote areas. However in 2013 he realised his passion of copying music and videos into CDs and DVDs. In 2015 he started working with Access Agriculture and his business grew to provide not only movies, but also agriculture videos to farmers. When farmers buy a phone and a memory card from his shop, he is able to put on videos from Access Agriculture. Overtime, he has seen an increase in interest for the videos from farmers. The smart projector will enable him to spread good agriculture practices across communities in Nsanje. He is hoping to reach more than more than 1000 farmers. Finiyasi hopes farmers will learn new techniques to increase yield, reduce post-harvest losses and utilise different seasons for cultivation. The smart projector will not only assist in spreading agricultural messages, but will also be used to spread information on health, gender and human rights from other organisations.
Francis Story
is a Social worker and holds a Diploma in Community Development. He is a Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) Alumni and the founder of Arise Youth organisation. Francis was raised in rural Malawi, a place with increased unemployment among the youth. Francis believes that agribusiness is a powerful tool that can economically transform lives of the rural youth. Through Arise Youth, Francis embarked on a bee keeping project, which empowered youth economically. Youths were equipped with start-up capital, skills and knowledge of bee keeping. More than 50 people benefited from the project. Francis is currently working with an initiative called Grow Digital Youth in Chikwawa District. Grow Digital Youth is aimed at building an agriculture and food system engine powered by committed youth through inspiration and mentoring processes. This initiative is centred on digitalisation to enhance agriculture productivity. Francis hopes to grow his digital effort and with the smart projector to share agricultural videos with youths in Chikwawa.
Grace Harrison
is from M’bang’ombe in Lilongwe District. Grace’s parents are farmers and she started showing interest in agriculture at a young age. Currently, she is in her final year of secondary education. At 17 she joined a club developed by Total Land Care in her village which aims to teach farmers more sustainable farming practices. The club performs drama called Muulimi muli Phindu (which means “farming is profitable”) in the surrounding communities. Besides her other responsibilities as a secretary, she is also responsible for mobilising youths to join the club. Grace is working with a team of three other colleagues - Binfred Mthambala, Kambeni Chimtolo and Precious Chimangiro. Together they aim for farmers to learn better ways of farming in a short period of time through seeing videos from across the world, but most importantly, hearing them in their own language.
Innocent Chaphinza
graduated from College with Diploma in Business Management. He joined Dzimwe Community Radio Station where he was producing agriculture radio programmes. Innocent developed a passion for helping farmers through the radio programmes. He was awarded a certificate in producing farmer programmes through training provided by Farm Radio International. Innocent decided to form an Organic Farming Resources and Knowledge Hub, with the goal of promoting organic agriculture for increasing the value of farm produce and finding better markets. Innocent works with 3 other colleagues; Desire Nyondo who has a Diploma in Animal Health, and Kenneth Nazombe and Fred Saulosi, who both have a Diploma in Agriculture and Natural Resources. Together they are a passionate team of graduates from Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) providing agriculture extension advisory services. The team are planning to show videos on better ways and methods of practising organic agriculture.
Lameck Banda
was born in rural Malawi. His father taught him and his 2 siblings the value of entrepreneurship at a young age. His father was a farmer, who worked hard and earned income for their family. Lameck learnt so much from his father, who constantly encouraged Lameck to seek opportunities to be trained in agriculture and entrepreneurship. He has received trainings in livestock farming, aquaculture and fisheries, apiculture, environmental conservation, land drainage and irrigation as well as business training from the Small and Medium Entreprise Development Institute (SMEDI). His dream is to grow his farming venture and encourage youth to venture into farming. Lameck recently started growing potatoes and cassava farming without fertiliser and chemicals. He hopes to share knowledge on this and from the videos on the smart projector with his fellow youth.
Mbumba Chalira
has B.Sc. in Aquaculture and Fisheries from the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Mbumba has spent over a year working as a MasterCard foundation youth think-tank researcher. Mbumba met Pempero Kumbani at the KAWJO foundation in Lilongwe where they have been working together as field officers. Pemphero also studied for a B.Sc. Degree in Aquaculture and Fisheries. Together they co-founded AquaLink Service, an organisation seeking to empower young people and women in aquaculture and entrepreneurship. They want to show videos to empower the youth and women into entrepreneurship and organic agriculture.
Modester Pendame
was unable to finish secondary education due to lack of fees, however she worked hard to provide food for her family through farming. Due to her hard work and attitude in seeing farming as a business, her community noticed her and appointed her as the community lead person for the Village Agriculture Committee (VAC). The VAC comprises small scale, medium and large scale farmers and works with more than 3000 farmers. Modester works hard within the VAC to assist farmers with on-farm challenges and link them to necessary organisations for proper assistance. The smart projector will bring new knowledge to all the farmers in the VAC.
Montfort Kwatani
Mizu Organic farm was established in 2018 by 3 young people concerned about the use of synthetic chemical inputs and conventional farming techniques. The three in the team are Montfort Kwatani (pictured) the Production and Operations Manager), Mike Muwawa the Sales and Marketing Manager and Conscious Jabesi who is the Farm Manager. They are investing in both livestock and horticultural enterprises to produce healthy food under strict principles of organic agriculture, this will ensure consumers eat healthy products. Mizu Organic farm is located in Namitete, 49 kilometres west of Lilongwe. The team aims to expand and grow into a leading agribusiness market server in local and exotic organic food and ecological agritourism. They are planning to establish a Farm Business School to enhance farmers’ capacity in agribusiness skills. They will use the smart projector to enhance sustainable farming systems and techniques within Namitete. The team will also collaborate with other farmers in pioneering and developing a marketing cooperative to sell and promote sustainably produced organic products both for local and international markets.
Osman Majid (DJ Osman)
has been operating a video burning centre on the outskirts of Lilongwe for many years. He now is able to reach remote villages where electricity is a challenge with a Smart Projector and show the “farmer to farmer” videos in Chichewa language. He says people still come to request the Access Agriculture videos at his burning centre, but he is able to reach many more people with the video shows.
Patrick Kawaye Chimseu
holds a Bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness Management from Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR). He is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Agribusiness Management from the same institution. In 2019 he registered a company named GAP Commercials, a market development agency with a mission to provide working tools in agricultural diversification, agribusiness investments, value addition, enterprise development and access to agricultural market information to farmers. He is working with 3 colleagues, Kondwani Maiko, Racheal Mpambira and Lorrain Namande to ensure the start-up is well established. Much work has been done related to consultation for small businesses and value addition of soya, sweet potato, sausage making, Irish potato and grafting trails of citrus fruits. With the smart projector they are planning to incorporate video shows to disseminate extension messages and agricultural videos on innovative technologies, agricultural diversification, value addition training and practicing farming as a business. Famers will also be exposed to Agribusiness tools and helped to make important decisions for their enterprises.
Sam Benedicto Chigamphu
has a Bachelor of Science in Human Science and Community Services obtained from Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR). Sam has worked as an Associate Lecturer in Nutrition and Food Security at Vision College of Management and as a Science teacher at Biazo Private secondary school. Sam has also worked in Food and Nutrition and Agriculture Gender Roles Extension Support Services (AGRESSO) as an intern for three years. Through this experience, he realised his passion to reach more youth and women for access to agricultural extension messages and become Agri-entrepreneurs to satisfy food security and livelihood needs, the smart projector will help him realise this passion.
Sydney Jassi
is 23 years old from Chombwe Village in Lilongwe District. Sydney was motivated about agricultural training videos through the Extension officer in his community, it was also through the same office that he heard about the “Young Entrepreneurs Challenge Fund” which he saw as opening opportunities to assist in training illiterate farmers through videos in local Malawian Languages. Sydney believes that as the Smart Projector works off-grid it will really support his activities in remote areas. The videos will also help to offset the high ratio of farmers to extension workers. Furthermore, farmers in his area will be made aware of sustainable agricultural practices. Sydney believes this will enhance productivity and profit margins within households while reducing environmental degradation.

Mali

Aliou Aboubacrine Maïga
is a young Malian passionate about agriculture. He has a Master’s degree in geography but has built his knowledge on agriculture through various trainings that led him to Burkina-Faso and Cassamance (Senegal). He wants to establish his farm in Moti region and develop a business model with farmer’s organisations by training them on organic agriculture using videos. Aliou’s ambition is to have in Moti region an organic agriculture centre where farmers can be trained.
Alpha Mahamoud Traore
is 26 years old and from Mali. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture. After various internships, Mahamoud has decided to set up his own enterprise in order to provide services to Malian farmers. Passionate about agriculture, Mahamoud’s ambition is to contribute to food security in Mali by building farmers capacity. He sees video as a great way to do this.
Amadou Sékou Nimaga
is a young entrepreneur from Mali. He is the founder and CEO of an enterprise called Africa Connecting. After creating this enterprise in 2013, he went on to launch in 2014 a distribution network for organic products. This initiative aims to identify and provide organic food to households in Bamako. In 2016, Africa Connecting was chosen as a Green Innovation Center Partner in order to help build the capacity of Malian farmers. In 2018, he set up a hydroponic agriculture system to train young Malians on a system which he thinks can excite young entrepreneurs. Amadou’s ambition is to contribute to the transformation of Malian agriculture from household agriculture to agribusiness and sees video as an integral part of that strategy.
Fainke Ladji
is a young agricultural engineer who after his graduation worked for Tambaroua farming enterprise. There he was responsible for training students in the Sakolar centre and supervising the agricultural activities of the enterprise. Currently, Fainke is the founder and the manager of Koolfarmer. Koolfarmer is a start-up which has developed an innovative web platform for the sale of vegetables and fruit. It also provides services to farmers by building their capacity through training and facilitating access to seed and organic fertilisers. Fainke’s ambition is to build farmers’ resilience and enhancing their livelihoods.
Mamadou Sylla
is a young man from Mali who holds a Master’s degree in Science of Education. Mamadou is a service provider to farmers. He builds farmers’ capacity and facilitates access to agricultural inputs, tractor services and markets. He is passionate about the rural world and he wants to promotion organic agriculture throughout Mali.
Rokiatou TRAORE
is a young Malian entrepreneur, 29 years old, who holds an MBA in Organisation Management. She is a Co-founder and CEO of Herou Alliance Sarl enterprise. This company, which employs 5 people, aims chiefly at promoting and trading organic moringa products through an inclusive value chain that integrates women and young farmers in Mali. The enterprise has developed a business model which provides technical assistance to its target audience and transforms them into suppliers of organic moringa products. The technical assistance is not only for moringa, but for other cereal crops as well. The enterprise has been working with 80 youth and woman farmers in Baguineda zone, where a nursery has been set up of 5,100 moringa plants. Roakitou’s ambition is not only to possess at least one million plants of moringa by 2025, but to develop other activities alongside through video trainings. Thanks to her initiatives, the company has been a winner of several programs such as West African Program of Climate Leadership for Women, One planet fellowship, African Innovation Fellowship, Young African Leadership Initiative, Young Innovation Lab and Women Act West Africa. Rokiatou’s leadership has resulted in her being nominated as a Green Ambassador for Climate in Africa.
Samuel Guindo
is a young entrepreneur from Mali. He holds a master degree in Agriculture and another in Agricultural Policy and rural economy. He is a cofounder and the CEO of AMENENA enterprise. Samuel had 14 years working with many international NGOs (ICRISAT, Action Contre la Faim, Oxfam GB, Caritas, Fondation Syngenta). In 2019 he cofounded his enterprise. The main objectives of which is to build farmers ‘capacity, facilitate their access to agricultural inputs and training videos. The enterprise employs 4 people and its website is www.amanema.com

Tanzania

Asheri Stephen Lemelo
attended several short courses and seminars on agriculture. He has had diverse experiences in multiple sectors of community activities and advocacy for development in the villages. Since 2012 he has been the Executive Secretary of Inua Jamii Group (Lifting-Up the Community Group) which operates in the Greater Mahale Ecosystem (GME) - a remote area with little electricity and access to internet. This makes dissemination of knowledge through videos very difficult but is where the smart projector can be used to great effect. Asheri is using the videos to promote the use of sustainable agriculture as current unsustainable agricultural practices in the Greater Mahale Ecosystem are causing problems with soil erosion leading to decreased soil fertility and reduced crop yields.

Uganda

Abdallah Seryazi (Teddy’s team member)
has a certificate in journalism and media studies from Metropolitan Management Institute in Uganda. He is currently pursuing a diploma in Social Work and Social Administration from Metropolitan International University. Abdallah co-founded a community based organisation (CBO), Situka Youth Development Project in his community aiming at empowering individuals and transforming the community through capacity building and mind-set change. Due to good youth mobilisation strategies, Situuka has attracted more development partners to organise the youth into farmer groups. This led to the birth of Zirobwe Kalagala Youth Multipurpose Cooperative Society Ltd where Abdallah is currently working as the secretary. He is also a tomato and banana farmer, trader, volunteer and Socy Uganda and Luweero Policy Youth Advocacy Champion. His co-operative aims to be a one-stop centre for farmers in Luweero district and become a leading youth-led co-operative in agricultural value addition. He plans to use the smart projector to train the youth on reducing on money spent on buying agrochemicals but use it to grow crops organically.
Adriko Simon Negro
grew up on his family farm and had the opportunity to have hands on training in agriculture skills and lessons with his family. From there he developed his passion for agriculture. Later he graduated in Agriculture from Uganda Martyrs University. He has had years of experience working in agronomy and livelihoods. His experience includes working at World Vision Uganda in the area of environment. He is now actively involved in showing video programmes for rural farmers and refugees from south Sudan and Congo in refugee settlements in the West Nile region of Uganda. The training is mostly for vegetables, field crops and environmental protection. The participants are really embracing the new technologies and implementing them at their own household gardens and fields.
Canary Ahabwe (AgroMush Team Leader)
While in college, Canary Ahabwe started working with his father on a family project as a project record manager. It was through doing this, he was inspired to study Agriculture. He made enough savings during school breaks to enable him to study an agricultural course at Rwentanga Agricultural Institute in Uganda where he obtained a National Certificate of Agriculture. Towards completion of the course, Ahabwe was among the selected students to join Agrostudies in Israel for a Diploma in Applied Agriculture and a Certificate in Irrigation. While in Israel, Canary got hands-on training from Marina Tevapost Israel which deals in mushroom production and packaging. On returning to Uganda, he started AgroMush where as managing director he transferred his knowledge obtained in Israel to Uganda’s context. Through this entity, Ahabwe has been in position to grow his own mushrooms and sell packed products through supermarkets in western and central Uganda. He has also trained more young farmers to add mushroom to their farming enterprises so as to diversify their sources of income. Canary looks forward to attaining a smart projector which will simplify his team’s training activities and facilitate them in reaching more youth in their local communities. The farmers supplying mushrooms will be able to access videos on other crops that can be grown in limited spaces using sustainable agroecology practices which will diversify their sources of income.
Azaria Kamusiime (AgroMush Team Member)
is currently a third year Ugandan student at Center Universitaire d’ain Temouchent in Algeria pursuing a BSc in Science of Matter in Chemistry. He is a self-motivated social entrepreneur with a certificate in French from Oran school of Languages. He is a co-founder at Care Promotion and Poverty Alleviation Initiative (CPAI), a community-based organisation serving less privileged communities in the rural areas of Mbarara district in Western Uganda. Azaria is currently an expert behind the girl “Inspire” project which aims to build the capacity of young vulnerable girls that are victims of child early marriages, teenage pregnancies and gender-based violence. He is also communications, sales and marketing coordinator at AgroMush Uganda, a youth led enterprise dealing in mushroom growing, production and value addition. Azaria is an alumnus of Venture Capital Africa, a member of Young African Leader’s Initiative (YALI); a global youth ambassador against gender-based violence; innovator’s award winner at Citizen’s International Youth Summit; and a volunteer at a high level youth summit on sustainable development. He has also attained a certificate in Monitoring and Evaluation from the Philanthropy University; and is a certified GBV instructor with the Federation of International Gender and Human Rights. Whilst in Algeria, Azaria meets virtually with his team at AgroMush in Uganda. He intends to use the smart projector to learn more about agroecology practices so that his team will train the local youth farmers to generate more money.
Martha Kyokuhaire
is a self-motivated farm manager at Kinano Organic Farm located in Luweero district in Uganda. As a mitigation measure to COVID-19 after-effects, her team sells vegetables produced on the farm via an online shop, Organo Basket. She holds a BSc (Hons) Degree in Agriculture from Makerere University. In 2018, she participated in International Training Course on Organic Agriculture (ITCOA) conducted by Go Organic in Eastern Uganda. She is a business partner and Agronomist at Farmer Investment Opportunities and Market (FIOM) Uganda, an Agribusiness consultancy and marketing company. Martha is also a focal point person for the Youth Agri-Investment Club (YAIC) project implemented by FIOM Uganda. YAIC project aims at inspiring and supporting the youth to engage in profitable farming businesses that conserve the environment. Before the Young Entrepreneur Challenge Fund competition, Martha had already been using Access Agriculture videos to train farm workers on how to make vermicompost among other practices. She is passionate about organic farming and sustainable development. Martha plans to use the smart projector to train farmers in the neighbourhood communities such that Kinano Organic Farm can meet the demand for their organically produced vegetables in Kampala.
Moses Birungi (Teddy’s team member)
has a Diploma in Development Studies majoring in community development attained from Nsamizi Training Institute of Social Development. He is currently the manager for Zirobwe Kalagala Youth Multipurpose Co-operative Society Ltd and at the same time he manages activities at Amahoro Community Development Initiative. Moses and his friend, Abdallah Seryazi developed the idea of Situka Youth Development Project while visiting a village in Kalagala where they noted the need for improving the livelihoods of the youth. Moses resigned from his job and joined his friend to establish the CBO. Other stakeholders in the community joined them to for Zirobwe Kalagala Youth Multipurpose Co-operative Society Ltd. Moses has participated in entrepreneurship training and business incubation from different organisations. This has facilitated him to use limited resources to run the co-operative and also his poultry farm. He plans to use the smart projector to empower more youth with knowledge on sustainable agriculture.
Rebecca Akullu
holds a diploma in business studies majoring in accounting from Uganda College of Commerce in Aduku, northern Uganda. She is the co-director for Adyaka Rural Youth Development Initiative (ARYODI) which runs Aryodi Bee Farm in Lira. ARYODI mainly trains over 2,000 farmers on modern beekeeping techniques and value addition for a profitable apiculture business venture. The team also empowers rural farmers on growing crops and rearing livestock using environmentally friendly practices that may sustain the ecosystem of bees. Rebecca was one of the victims of early teenage pregnancy which led her to dropping out of school. She later joined the college to complete her studies. This motivated her to initiate an organisation called Network for Women in Action which trains young girls and teenage pregnant school drop-outs in artisan skills such as: making paper bags, weaving baskets and making bee hives using locally available materials. Rebecca is passionate about farming and transforming the livelihoods of rural based smallholder farmers in her community through economic empowerment and social entrepreneurship. She plans to use the solar powered smart projector to inspire other young girls into agriculture in addition to generating income from showing videos and trainings.
Teddy Nabwire (Team Leader)
is a young mother, leader, farmer and an entrepreneur. She completed ordinary school level with a Uganda Certificate Education (U.C.E) from Bulemezi Senior Secondary School. Unfortunately, she became pregnant before joining college and she was forced to drop out of school. Nevertheless, Teddy has not given up with her dreams regardless of her education level. As a single parent, she has set up a mobile money retailing business and she grows maize and bananas so as to earn a living. Teddy is also the current vice chairperson for Zirobwe Kalagala Youth Multipurpose Cooperative Society Ltd. This position has nurtured her to speak out and share opportunities and platforms with men and women of influence. Her mission in this co-operative is to become the chairperson and later become women councillor for her district as a political leader. Teddy advises women to actively participate in all value chains of agriculture and she always reminds the girls to take up every opportunity to focus on completing their education instead of hanging out with “bad boys” while at school. Teddy plans to use the smart projector to increase on the percentage of the co-operative members who are transiting from conventional to organic farming.
To read more about Entrepreneurs for Rural Access, please click here

Change Makers

Neeraj Kumar, India

Neeraj’s organisation ‘Khetee’ – which means ‘farming’ in Hindi language – focuses on community development and training programmes for farmers and rural community. It has introduced a farmer-focused intervention model to make farming sustainable and profitable in rural Bihar by promoting ecological agroforestry.

Read more here

Watch a video on Neeraj’s work here