Agri-YouthVest Africa Trust: Agriculture for Sustainable Development

Agri-YouthVest Africa (AYVA) Trust is a youth-led, youth-found organization duly registered and compliant with the laws of the Republic of Zimbabwe found in 2014 and formalized in 2017.

Set out to operate as an agricultural innovation and incubation hub, AYVA works to solve grand challenges in the agricultural economy of Zimbabwe and of Africa at large in the themes of Agricultural Capital and Financing; Capacity Building, Utility and Development ; Climate change; Natural Resources, Environmental and Ecosystem Services; Food security; Technological Development and Innovation; Agricultural Markets Development and Transformation; Agricultural Governance, Policies and Regulations. Arduous as the work can be, operating through initiatives solving problems within a selected nexus themes makes the otherwise huge task workable.

Found by Ngonidzashe Kativu, AYVA has operated in the informal economy for three years with little impact until it was registered as a trust towards the end of 2017. Services offered during the period range from agronomic and agribusiness consultancy, mentorship and academic research support to university students in agricultural and development sciences; sustainable agribusiness business modeling, start-up strategy development to name a few. After registration, Agri-YouthVest Africa took the form of a hybrid structure to fully execute its objectives and make impact in the lives of the socioeconomically marginalized in Zimbabwe. Thus, by way of initiatives, AYVA has infused in its development strategy a new form of development paradigm greater than social responsibility; which can be summarized as co-shared value or growth.

With programming focused on designing and implementing low-cost-high-returns sustainable projects supporting pro-poor and inclusive socio-economic transformation for youth and women; AYVA operates through five initiatives (three are currently operational):

1. YESALA (Youth Enterprising Sustainability and Agricultural Leaders in Africa)

2. IquAfrica (No woman left behind)

3. The Nexus (the research and communication arm)

4. Agrico Unlimited (Farmers Without Borders);

5. Clothe Another Feed Another Initiative (CAFAI)

Under the Clothe Another Feed Another Initiative (CAFAI), AYVA has sources clothing and food materials from the privileged for distribution to the lesser privileged. To date, approximately 100kgs of clothing material have been distributed in and around Harare, with a hundred more scheduled to be distributed by end of February (Clothe Another Initiative phase); before entering into the Feed Another Initiative phase for which the organization is already sourcing donations in line with its quest for social and food security in communities of Zimbabwe.

InquAfrica, the initiative focused on development of grassroots values chains for rural women through social, technology and knowledge-based interventions; has managed to procure a peanut butter grinder for a group of women in Mutoko, targets to start a livelihoods and a community poultry project for women from Eastview who have been displaced; to establish asset-oriented VSL system for at least 100 women and to also establish beehives and honey value chains for five clusters in five different communities in Marondera and Murehwa.

YESALA (Youth Enterprising Sustainability and Agricultural Leaders in Africa) is currently operating at less than 10% of its capacity but remains a rich network and the greatest social asset of AYVA. With one-hundred and ninety young leaders dotted across twenty-five countries of Africa, the YESALA network is an initiative that is allowing the trans-boundary sharing of socioeconomic capital for growth and development of young leaders of African development in the sustainable and agricultural development frontiers. The YESALA arm in Zimbabwe works on delivering roundtable discussions and masterclasses among peers, young founders of local agricultural start-ups; to navigate challenges faced herein.

That some initiatives of AYVA are not currently operating and those that are operating are doing so at a low capacity is reflective of the resource constrains that the organization faces. The organization faces challenges in terms of accessing funds and capital to initiate its programs. Government support having been minimal to none in the journey of Agri-YouthVest Africa, to this day the organization lacks land on which to produce, research, value add and demonstrate the innovative capacity of the young agricultural graduates of Zimbabwe who remain unemployed yet are perhaps the greatest domestic asset of the country in realizing sustained development in the country and solve to a greater extent the socioeconomic problems of this country including youth unemployment and food insecurity.

According to the projections of Agri-YouthVest Africa, equipping the entity with its physical and capital needs will create decent jobs for over one thousand youth and women in the course of three years.

For more information about the organisation you can visit their website or call Saymore Ngonidzashe Kativu (Sayid’Ali) @ +263 777 910 329

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