Africa Youth Agribusiness and Rural Economic Activities Research Grant

Africa Youth Agribusiness and Rural Economic Activities Research Grant

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) received a three-year research grant for “Enhancing capacity to apply research evidence in policy for youth engagement in agribusiness and rural economic activities in Africa” funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

IITA has consequently announced 50 research fellowships.

This is an action-oriented fellowship for young academics and professionals, and students at the post-course work/research stage of their programs.

The research grant program seeks to contribute to policy development in youth engagement in agribusiness and rural economic activities in Africa.

It is designed to provide opportunities to engage youth to improve the availability and use of evidence for youth policies and decision-making related to youth participation in agribusiness and rural economic activities by providing them with: funding, support, and the expertise of IITA’s scientists; skills, and competencies in social and economic research; and a community of other fellows with whom to exchange ideas.


IIT seeks research fellows for the study of Youth Engagement in Agribusiness and Rural Economic Activities in Africa.

Thematic Areas

Thematic areas include but NOT limited to the following:

Skills, and innovations, and entrepreneurship

Innovative skills development; entrepreneurship and employability skills for engaging youth in agribusiness; innovativeness of rural youth to engage in agribusiness; school to work transition; skills mismatch and youth employment.
Rural dynamics

Socio-cultural norms (cultural norms, gender norms, informal rules, family and peer relationships) and youth engagement in agribusiness;
intergenerational land transfer and youth engagement in agribusiness; youth-led agribusiness development in a rural-urban continuum;

small-town development and youth-led agribusiness; diversity, interaction and collective action among youth in agribusiness; migration and youth engagement in agribusiness;

rural youth migration and nutrition and food security of households of origin; remittances role in financing agribusiness.

Policies, markets, and institutions

Influence of finance policies and practices, land policies and practices, small and medium enterprise development policies and practices on youth engagement in agribusiness; the influence of laws,
regulations, standards on the effectiveness of youth-led agribusiness; youth-inclusive agricultural extension services and cooperatives; youth-inclusive land tenure systems; efficient markets for youth-led agribusiness; incentives for youth-led agribusiness.


Private sector growth, public and private sector collaboration, impacts of interventions on financial inclusiveness, investments in ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ skills, ICT-enabled agricultural extension systems on youth engagement in agribusiness;
on youth-employment in agribusiness; engagement in agribusiness and wellbeing of youth; entrepreneurship promotion (e.g. media, organized youth groups, platforms, stakeholder forums, policy networks, alliances, and advocacy) and youth employment in agribusiness.

Scaling up

Challenges, opportunities, and threats for scaling up successful approaches/models of youth engagement in agribusiness and other rural economic activities.

Award Information

Awards for Research Grants are up to $10,000.
Grantees will be supervised by one IITA scientist in close collaboration with their national/university supervisor.
Grantees will be offered training on research methodology, data management, and scientific writing;
Grantees will be offered training on the production of research evidence for policy-making.

Eligibility Criteria

The research will be carried out in the following countries: Benin, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Senegal, and Zambia.
Applicants must not be more than 40 years old at the time of application.
Applicants must be a young scholar at a research institute or university in Africa or a student registered in a Ph.D. or Master’s program in recognized universities in Africa, majoring in agricultural economics, agribusiness, economics, or a related social science, and must have finished their university course work.
Applicants must be able to conduct research in the target countries.
The duration of the research should not exceed 6 months.

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