Brief description of YOFCHAN
Young Farmers Champions Network (YOFCHAN) is a network of young farming ambassadors, role models and future influencers working together to shape the agriculture sector. We promote positive images and perceptions of farming among the youth through providing real life examples to young people who may have never considered a career in agriculture, developing confident, independent, reflective thinkers who can share their story and their personal experiences, while voicing their own opinions about agricultural issues in the industry. YOFCHAN equips and prepares its champions through lifetime mentorship programs, agricultural financing and market linkages, and also equips them with unique insights into all aspects of the agricultural supply chain as well as consumer attitudes and trends.
A generation of empowered youth championing agriculture in Africa
To lobby, advocate and empower young farmers with entrepreneurial skills along the agricultural value chain
To build youth capacity and enterprises to practice farming as a business
To link the youth to agricultural financing opportunities
To link and facilitate better markets to the young farmers
To lobby and advocate for an enabling environment for youth involvement in farming as a business.
Young Farmers Champions Network selects youth through an annual call for applications to its Young Farmers Champions and Ambassadors Fellowship that takes a period of three years. Through this fellowship, youth are empowered with good agronomic practices, group dynamics, financial literacy, record keeping, post harvest handling and value addition skills, facilitated with agricultural finance, and market linkages for them to engage into farming as a business and after graduation as champions and ambassadors, these youth gardens work as demonstration farms where other youth interested in agriculture are trained by these ambassadors in local communities. These champions also act as a voice of other youth in agriculture to lobby and advocate for enabling environment for the youth to engage into farming as a business.
After youth are selected for the young farmers champions and ambassadors fellowship, we engage them through our four phase model that involves, young farmers mentorship and enterprise development, agricultural financing (Farm Inputs, post harvest tools and agricultural insurance), Market Facilitation for young farmers produce, lobby and advocacy for youth involvement into farming as business.
Young farmers empowerment and Enterprise development; Because most of the youth we engage lack capacity to engage into farming as a business, we take the young farmers Champions and ambassadors fellows into capacity building trainings in good agronomic practices, group dynamics, financial literacy, record keeping and business plan writing, guide them on formalizing businesses and open up bank accounts.
Agricultural Financing for the Youth; After young farmers champions and ambassadors fellows capacity building and enterprise development, we support them with farm inputs, post harvest tools and agricultural insurance to establish farms in their local communities that graduate as model farms after a period of three years.
Market facilitation and linkages for the youth; At harvest, YOFCHAN takes the responsibility to sell the young farmers produce. We collect the produce, bulk and sell after collecting from all its young farmers operating model farms. We then pay them after selling and this normally takes a period of 15-20 days.
This is done for a period of three years after which the graduated young farmers can choose to continue bulking with us and are paid after selling. Alternatively, we have MOUs with the buyers to keep buying from all young farmers recommended by us on their terms.
Lobby and advocacy; After three years, these youth graduate as champions and ambassadors and their farms are elevated as model farms and these champions use it as a training center for other youth interested in farming as a business. These champions also advocates for youth involvement into farming business with in local communities and with their support, YOFCHAN as a voice of young farmers advocates for youth mainstreaming in public and private agricultural sector planning and implementation process. We believe that there is nothing about the young farmers without involving them and therefore YOFCHAN works to bridge this gap by representing and ensuring that youth issues are mainstreamed at all levels for the benefit of young farmers.
We also organize monthly Coffee Eve events where young people interface with policy makers, private sector leaders and fellow youth in agriculture as they pitch and showcase their products and organize annual Young Farmers awards to reward most enterprising young farmers.