Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo Executive Director of the Forum for
Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA)

The larger part of sub-Saharan Africa’s population lives in rural areas where poverty and low human development indices are most severe. Since most rural households are agrarian in nature, and given the sector’s large contribution to the overall economy, boosting agriculture provides the double advantage of eradicating poverty in those regions as well as enhancing access to food and nutrition security.

Given that agriculture accounts for up to 65% of the continent’s employment and 75% of its domestic trade, it is logical to hone-in every support for the sector. Widespread rural poverty in Africa therefore presents an opportunity to replicate and the success of Asia’s Green Revolution that was based on agriculture as a key sector for socio economic development.

The challenge

Although there are diverse rural livelihood opportunities from agriculture, many young people unfortunately, find it unattractive and regard it as employment of the last resort. Two main reasons account for this. First, because many of the youth have a mindset that perceive agriculture as not glamorous, lucrative, or not of “snub appeal”.  Second, because there is lack of proper facilities and institutions such as markets and financial options and policies which promote agriculture in the rural areas.  The result is that agriculture remained undesired and unattractive to the youth, rural urban migration increases and poverty rises.  This scenario threatens food security and possible breakdown of rural economies which are mostly agriculture dependent. Consequently, average age of farmers is on the rise and there is less prospect for younger generation to replace the ageing farmers resulting in what is referred to as “generation gap” in food production. In Ghana for instance, the average age of cocoa farmers is estimated at 55 years and the picture is the same in many other African countries (Financial Times, 2015). As a result, productivity continues to be low compared to other parts of the world and best practices.  For instance in Cote d’Ivoire, which is the largest producer of cocoa in the world, cocoa productivity is currently 300-400 kg/Ha compared to more than 1 MT/Ha obtainable in Indonesia.

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Deadline for Submission: 30th December, 2017

The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation is implementing an eight year programme “Transforming African Agricultural Universities to meaningfully contribute to Africa’s growth and development (TAGDev)”. The TAGDev Programme seeks to transform African agricultural universities and their graduates to better respond to developmental challenges through enhanced application of science, technology, business and innovation for rural agricultural transformation. Under the TAGDev, a focus towards developing a critical mass of young business leaders by providing a supporting environment where startups, innovations and disruptive ideas from universities are fast tracked to service communities and nurture enterprises driven and led by youth in Africa has been envisioned. This will be delivered through the RUFORUM Agricultural Enterprises Challenge Program (RECAP).

The RECAP is therefore designed to strengthen university entrepreneurship education and impact by supporting the development/ strengthening of Agri-Enterprise Innovation Hubs (AIHs) at universities that will support the development of agricultural enterprises through entrepreneurial skills development. The RECAP Call for Proposals is described in this document with deadline date for receipt of all Proposals by 5pm on 30th November 2017.  A transparent, competitive process is proposed to select four university based projects with maximum grants of up to $50,000 each to establish/strengthen AIH and implement support to agribusiness development in Africa.

For this initial all RUFORUM member universities are eligible to apply.

Potential applicants are invited to review the detailed guidelines for the Call. Important dates for the Call are as below:

  1. Deadline for FULL Proposals to RUFORUM Secretariat by 30th December, 2017
  2. Compliance Review and send to External Reviewers by 15th January, 2018
  3. External Reviewers return proposals with comments to Secretariat by 15th February, 2018
  4. Secretariat to compile proposals for review by Technical Committee by 25th February, 2018
  5. Technical Committee meeting to be held by April 20th, 2018
  6. Results from the selection will be communicated to PIs by 30th April, 2018
  7. Submission of revised proposals by 10th May, 2018
  8. Grant Agreements received by 25th May, 2018
  9. Funds Disbursed by 9th June, 2018

Important Downloads:

  1. Annex A_Application form
  2. Annex B_RECAP Budget Template
  3. Annex C_RECAP+Logical Framework
  4. RECAP Detailed Call Guidelines
  5. CV template

For more information please email MCF@RUFORUM unit. Email: mcf@ruforum.org


The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) in partnership with Mastercard Foundation are implementing an eight year program “Transforming Agricultural Universities in Africa to meaningfully contribute to Africa’s growth and development (TAGDev)”. Under this program, 220 students will be trained as part of training the next generation of AgLeaders for Africa in Africa through an innovative agricultural training model. In this edition, a cohort of the first 30 students from eight countries; Rwanda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda are presented.

IW1A0485Jaka Margaret Loruk is enrolled in a Bachelor of Science programme in Food and Agribusiness at Gulu University (Uganda); 2017-2021. She is Ugandan by nationality, a born of 1993 from the Karamoja region in Northern Uganda. Margaret is from a family of three girls and the only one still at school. Margaret is focused at becoming an employer and climate change actor seeking to improve climate change resilience in her region. She is also a determined young agriculturalist with a vision to open up a learning centre for agriculture to benefit nearby schools and farmers in Moroto district.

IW1A0434Ong’ayo Mercyline Jerusa is enrolled into the Master of Science program in Agri-Enterprise Development at Egerton University; 2017-2019. Jerusa is a Kenyan national, born in 1987 and grew up in the Western Kenya. Her dream is to set up an agri-entrepreneurship consultancy and demonstration farm in Kenya, which will offer comprehensive training in Agri-Entrepreneurship to smallholder farmers and entire community for general improvement of life, food and poverty eradication.

IW1A0655John Kamau Muthoni is enrolled in a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture at Egerton University; 2017-2021. He is a Kenyan national, born in 1996 in Tamoyoto, Molo. John is passionate about agriculture that he has practiced from childhood. John’s dream is to build on the skills gained from this program to become an entrepreneur, with a private agricultural research farm, and respond to farmer challenges with innovative solutions.

IW1A0037Ngenoh Geoffrey Cheruiyot is enrolled in the Master of Science in Agri-Enterprise Development at Egerton University at Egerton University; 2017-2019. He is a Kenyan national, born in 1990 and grew up in Rift Valley in Kenya. Despite numerous challenges in his education journey, Geoffrey’s perseverance has been pivotal for his attainment of education.  Geoffrey aims to form a transformational scheme for youth with entrepreneurial skills to encourage innovative agricultural development that leads to sustainable livelihoods in Kenya, and Africa in large.

IW1A9499Ayiri, Joshua Bayahkebe is enrolled in the Bachelor of Science program in Food and Agribusiness at Gulu University (Uganda); 2017-2021.  Joshua is a Nigerian national, born in 1996. Joshua has devotion and motivation to become a transformational leader. Joshua has a purpose to educate and mentor youth on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and growing to become big enterprise that will create job opportunities with potential to reduce crime in Nigeria.

IW1A9945Gabriel Mahindu Kwendo (a Kenyan) was born in 1990 in Western Kenya, Vihiga County. Gabriel is enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Agriculture at Egerton University; 2017-2021. His dream is to become an agricultural researcher who will disseminate relevant agricultural knowledge and skills to smallholder farmers in Kenya to enhance product diversity and post-harvest management so as to ensure income, food and nutrition security.

IW1A9991Aciro Lucy is Ugandan national, born in 1993 in Gulu, Northern Uganda. She was born at the height of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) insurgency. Lucy is enrolled in the Master of Science in Agri-enterprises Development at Gulu University; 2017-2019. Her dream is to become a member of parliament and create an enabling environment for Ugandan local farmers to reap profits from their agricultural outputs through favorable government policies.

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