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We have been researching what our forefathers consumed previously and have found that Indigenous African Foods offer a possible solution to alleviate the food crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa. There has been very little research on Indigenous African Foods from a nutritional value perspective. We are currently working on the characterization of common indigenous foods from Zimbabwe with emphasis on the protein, vitamin, oil, carbohydrate, and mineral content. Many indigenous recipes that were used previously have slowly become extinct and the African Food Revolution is working on research and documentation of Indigenous African Foods. We firmly believe that with local resource management, a food secure Africa is attainable. www.africanfoodrevolution.org
Sola Adeniyi is an agro-entrepreneur promoting the involvement of youth in agricultural enterprises in the Ogun State in Nigeria. He plants watermelons, cucumbers, plantain seeds and moringa. These are further processed to produce various products. There is also a 50-acre farm producing pineapples. His passion for farming inspires African youth as he has sacrificed the office for the outdoors, which offers better financial rewards.
According to him, this agriculture can be used to catapult youth out of poverty. The future looks bright for this agro-entrepreneur as he has his sights set on improving and investing in the latest food processing technologies through sustainable production systems. One of the initiatives is the use of renewable energy which is solar energy.
One critical area affecting animal production systems is the production or procurement of quality feed for one’s animals. Adeniyi intends to invest in animal feed processing. The possibility of him working with African Food Revolutions’ feed specialist Prince Chisoro is slowly being cemented. The rewards have not come easy for the farmer. He has had to encounter saline soils, poor understanding of the nutritional requirements of his crops, improper irrigation techniques, disease management and varietal selectional of pineapples. He has worked tirelessly on improving the soil and improving farm management systems.
The farmers’ strategy is to provide safe use of pesticides, hygienic practices and effective marketing. Adeniyi also runs an organisation which is heavily involved in youth farming by running a model farm where skills are delivered to enthusiastic future farmers. One of Adenyis’ projects which is the Highhill Agribusiness Development and Incubation Centre (HABDEC) offers free training on agricultural production to empower Nigerians between 18 and 50. Participants are trained in 4 major crops that are pineapples, potatoes, paw paw and plantains. HABDEC aims to empower both youth and women. The company intends to release 600 agricultural consultants, producers and advocates. The centre also intends to transform the agribusiness centre into a pre-university were students can do their programs and get themselves certificates. Friends, family and partners have funded the project and through his GoGreen Project, Adeniyi is helping more people to break out of the cycle of poverty, to create better livelihoods.
Natural Nutrient Limited is one of Nigeria ’s private initiatives that incubates rural entrepreneurship by radically redefining agro entrepreneurship. The benefits include exposing business opportunities to youths and retirees, boosting economic benefits for farmers, bringing technology that is bridging the urban-rural divide, and helping reverse urban migration. He is also bringing new resources and valuable networks to agricultural entrepreneurs.
He recently won the Agro Ambassador Award for his involvement in the agro-industry. As the African Food Revolution, we salute the achievements of Adeniyi and as an organisation are helping youth engage and be involved in food production. Together with Sola Adeniyi we hope to work in unison in creating agro-entrepreneurs.
Am fortunate to be part of a group of over 40 scientists including not less than 10 food scientists. We are from different parts of Africa. We are a group which intends to use disruptive thinking to develop the food sector in Africa. Our goal is to build rural entrepreneurs who are the future of food production systems in Africa. We are food revolutionists who are using 2 basic methods as our foundation for food processing in Africa that is heat and fermentation techniques. Most of the members have done their Food Science degrees in Italy which is considered the modern pioneers of the modern food industry. The same development techniques used by farmers in Italy can easily be used on the African continent. A lot has to be done to drive the food industry in Africa and feel that basic food processing techniques should be at the fingertips of all rural food producers in Africa. Our group is called the African Food Revolution and our activities can be viewed on our website which is www.africanfoodrevolution.org. It is imperative that we use passion, intuition, novel technologies and basic food processing techniques to fully exploit the African food market and create wealth and employment in food production platforms.