Young people in South Africa make up more than a third of the population. In a country with such a young population, it is concerning that the youth accounts for 63.3% of the total number of unemployed persons. To this end, Corteva and Gibs EDA want to host a thought-provoking and inspiring roundtable event that not only encourages youth participation in entrepreneurship and farming but also inspires them to believe that their hustle is not in vain.
By providing a platform for accomplished farmers to engage with aspirant entrepreneurs, the partners hope to empower young people to embrace their agency in shaping their futures. An impressive array of industry voices have been gathered to form this all-women panel ahead of Youth Day on 16 June. The keynote speaker Ndidi Nwuneli is a renowned businesswoman, author and Ted Global speaker. Ndidi is the founder of Leap Africa, co-founder of AACE Foods, managing partner of Sahel Consulting Agriculture and Nutrition and the chair of Nourishing Africa. She serves on multiple boards, including, among others, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, Agra and the African Philanthropy Forum.
We have confirmed four panellists, namely, Ruramiso Mashumba, a trailblazing farmer who holds several accolades and achievements both in Zimbabwe and abroad; Emma Naluyima, a Ugandan veterinarian, urban farmer, teacher and animal and crop farming instructor; Nneile Nkholise, a cattle farming nerd and product engineer who co-founded 3DIMO, a South African and US-based agritech company that provides an online marketplace for the sale of cattle, vetted using AI and precision analytics, direct from any farm; and Thato Moagi, managing director of Legae La Banareng Farms and the first South African to receive the prestigious Nuffield Agriculture Scholarship. The moderator, Mpho Mashita, is a radio presenter who also works as an MC and conversation moderator for women, social entrepreneurship and career-related events and conferences.
As part of its 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, Corteva has committed to empowering women. To this end, they are committed to engaging with and supporting women in agriculture across the globe – from the largest farms in the most advanced economies to the smallest subsistence farms in the developing world. This roundtable event takes place alongside Corteva and Gibs’ immersive programme, which serves as a development intervention for women farmers to develop their entrepreneurial, business and leadership skills to manage and sustain profitable farms.
“Our goal is to inspire young people to consider the agri-food sector as a viable and profitable business opportunity,” said Betty Kiplagat, government and industry affairs leader for Corteva Agriscience Africa Middle East. “This collaboration with stakeholders across the continent will help us to develop the entire ecosystem to support women and young people in farming.”
Deirdre Steeneveldt, associate director of the Gibs EDA, added: “Farming is not for the faint-hearted and success does not happen overnight. Young women especially, do not have many examples of female farmers who have gone from humble beginnings to become empowered entrepreneurs that can dominate this competitive male-dominated field. This roundtable aims to motivate young women to pursue a career in farming, that, with hard work and determination, can provide lucrative benefits for farmers, their families, communities and the economy alike.”
Join leaders from across the continent at the Gibs-Corteva roundtable, which will take place on Thursday, 10 June 2021 from 10am to 12pm. Register for the Zoom webinar here.
For more information, contact Faiza Mallick at az.oc.sbig@fkcillam