In the strategic plan (2016-2020), CTA has set three interrelated goals to contribute to rural development and greater food and nutrition security: development of profitable smallholder value chains; support the development and implementation of conducive agricultural policies and regulatory frameworks; enhance the capacity of stakeholders in information and knowledge management, which in turn supports both value-chain development and policy processes.

Youth in agriculture is a priority that cuts across CTA’s work, along with agribusiness development, climate-smart agriculture, nutrition and women. The ICTs and knowledge management are used to strengthen these linkages and further spur their value delivery.

By developing and adopting its Youth in Agriculture Strategy in 2013 CTA aims to boost the engagement of young people in agriculture and rural development for the growth of ACP agricultural economies and to improve youth employment rates and livelihoods.

They achieve the above four goals through:

  • Promoting coherent evidence-based policies on youth in agriculture and rural development
  • Enhancing the engagement of youth in agricultural value chains
  • Enhancing youth engagement in agriculture through ICT innovation and utilisation and knowledge management and
  • Strengthening the engagement of young professionals in agricultural science and tertiary education.


  • CTA has been implementing a variety of youth programmes and projects, advancing youth agricultural entrepreneurship and ICT innovations to boost climate-resilient food value chains, which received over 500 submissions from many countries in 2015.
  • Agribusiness TV, an innovative and internationally recognized web TV that promotes successes of young agripreneurs, has been launched in that framework.
  • CTA’s Agriculture, Rural Development and Youth in the Information Society (ARDYIS) project launched in 2010 has been consistently promoting youth in agriculture using ICTs and has implemented activities including:
  • The Youth in Agriculture Blog Competition (YOBLOCO Awards) and the AgriHack Talent Programme, which promotes ICT innovation and start-ups offering services for the agricultural sector and many Kenyan youth have been involved. As an example, the Kenyan start-up Farmdrive has been launched after winning a competition organised by CTA in Kenya and East Africa.
  • CTA launches regularly, young agripreneurs campaigns; policies dialogues on youth in agriculture are launched and CTA has authored or co-authored various youth focused publications, such as the Youth and Agriculture.
  • CTA has experience in grant management. The organisation provided funding for projects (direct grants) for budget up to 700 000 euros in the past. The volume of past competitive grants managed varies between 100 000 and 400 000 euros.

USTADI Foundation:

USTADI Foundation promotes demand and supply of innovative and catalytic capacity development services for improved livelihoods and wealth creation, in particular in rural areas.

The foundation also has a strong track record on rural youth entrepreneurship activities and projects in Kenya, targeting young women and men.


  • The Foundation was the local implementing partner of the Youth to Youth Fund (Y2YF) in Kenya in partnership with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Youth Employment Network (YEN). Its Facebook page has over 75,000 subscribers (85% under 35 years old). The ARDYIS project won the 2015 UN WSIS Prize for its work on youth, ICT and agriculture.
  • The Y2YF was a component of the Youth Entrepreneurship Facility (YEF). It was a competitive grant scheme that aimed at giving the youth a voice to design and implement innovative solutions to unemployment challenges.Through this initiative, the Y2YF supported 34 organizations in Kenya and reached a total of 2,558 beneficiaries.
  • The Foundation provided support to 23 grantee organizations (including 5 receiving scale-up support), managing a grant portfolio of approximately Euro 23,000.
  • The Foundation was the implementing partner in Nyanza, Mombasa and Nairobi clusters in the Global South Project for civil societies supporting 20 youth based organizations, with a grant portfolio of approximately Euro 20,000. Under the Kenya Local Capacity Development Facility project supported by SNV, USTADI managed 50 grants of approximately Euro 250,000.
  • The Foundation was also a design and implementing partner for SNV’s women in agri-entrepreneurship programme in Kenya.
  • Other projects within the sector included the Climate smart agriculture project in Kilifi that covered 28,000 farmers, livestock project covering six counties and mentoring and coaching of 300 business service providers within the livestock value chain.

The added value of the CTA/USTADI partnership:

CTA and USTADI’s partnership for this project brings additional value and mixes well mutual experiences, local credibility and international experience. USTADI works on the ground in Kenya, specialised on youth and women entrepreneurship in agriculture and with extensive experience in capacity building and linking the demand side of support with the supply side.

CTA’s international experience on youth in agriculture programming will complement USTADI’s local experience and credibility.

Moreover, CTA is reputed for its international expertise in knowledge management, a key driver of success for the project. Innovations and knowledge identified in other countries will be adapted and infused in the project’s implementation. Lessons learned in Kenya will be shared with other countries where IFAD is also operating.

Furthermore, CTA brings it experiences and local and international networks related to youth and ICT in agriculture within this project.

CTA and USTADI recognize the current challenges experienced in accessing agri-business financing by youth groups. The challenges range from lack of appropriate financing products suitable for young people to lack of supporting institutions to mitigate the risks of business failure after borrowing external capital.

In this regard, CTA embarked on a comprehensive programme to develop Value Chain finance capacity, not only for partners and banks, but also institutions such as Central banks, so that they can address policy constraints.

As such, the CTA USTADI partnership is particularly well placed to execute this IFAD grant.

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