The projects core aim is to provide new (students) and existing young vegetable farmers with better inputs and train them in sustainable agronomic practices so as to increase their incomes and income stability. This will be done at the training centre at the premises of INFPA in Tiébissou.
Trainees will both study and work at the farm and be housed at the dormitory. Trainees receive intensive classroom and on-the-job-training on topics like variety selection, seedling raising, soil fertility and water management, integrated pest management and harvesting, but also non-production practices like packaging, market research and sales. The focus crops will be tomato, hot pepper, bell pepper and cucumber, as these crops are especially suitable for hors sol production in small-scale greenhouses (Abris). These crops are also in high demand and fetch good market prices. The goal is to have these four crops in production simultaneously, so that trainees can learn the agronomic practices for each of these crops.
For the training the clients are the potential agri-entrepreneurs, responding to a set of criteria (motivation, ambition, age, recommendation, contribution, previous education/skills/experience, gender). Social criteria will be considered as well, with an accent on access to training for women: take it into consideration in communication for recruitment and even in selection criteria (with respect to all other criteria). We will consider if there are (hidden) barriers for participation of female trainees. This is an important aspect, as vegetable production and marketing is a female oriented activity.
A number of 240 trainees is planned to be trained in from 2021-2023. These trainees are trained for different job and business opportunities:
- trainees start for themselves (conditioned by own investment + loan)
- trainees will be employed by existing or potential vegetable growers (investors) / farmer cooperatives
- trainees will be employed as extensionist at public services