RAP launches bags of new careers
Our team in Senegal continues to invest strongly in youth entrepreneurship. A current example is the Rice Agripreneurship Project (RAP). This two-year employment drive runs into 2022. RAP is financed by the Mastercard Foundation via Africa Rice.
“The main aim of this initiative is to create more jobs for young people in the rice value chain”, explains Ousmane Sow from our Senegalese Agriservices team. “We are looking to enroll and establish a network of 45 service agents we call ‘APS’. Their task will be to link up with and support about 8000 rice growers.”
Capacity-building plays a big role in Syngenta Foundation work, and RAP is no exception. “We’re also recruiting and training 30 young ‘CUMA’”, Ousmane adds. “That’s a French abbreviation for professional farm machinery operators. They’ll drive and maintain the machines, from which all their neighboring farmers can benefit.” The Senegal River Valley area still has huge potential to expand the use of modern equipment in rice-growing.
A further goal of RAP is to train 300 young people as rural entrepreneurs. “The project will help a lot of them to launch businesses in rice”, explains our country head Alassane Aw. “There are great opportunities here in production, processing, and commercialization.”
Last but not least, RAP also bears Covid in mind. “The pandemic has made life very difficult for a lot of local rice farmers”, comments Alassane. “So the Mastercard Foundation is also enabling distribution of 1000 sets of seed and fertilizer.”