Launch Funding Task Force Visited the states of Al-Jazira and Al-Qadarif

From August 25 to 31 2020, a team consisting of the Enable Youth Program for Agripreneurship, the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), the Small and Small Funding Guarantee Agency (Tayseer) and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture visited Al-Qadarif and Al Jazeera states to launch funding for the first batch of the program. The Enable Youth Program for Agripreneurship was represented by Dr. Saleh Jibril, credit specialist, Jamal Abdul Qadir, agribusiness specialist, and Abdulaziz Ali, a communications specialist. IITA represented by Dr. Jafar Mohammed Farah, The Institute's Country Representative in Sudan, and represented the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Abdullah Abduldaim, from the Projects Monitoring Department.

In both states, the team visited business incubators to see how the work was going and discuss the challenges. The team stood on the various value chains of poultry production, cultivation of greenhouses, the fattening of calves, seeds production and fish farming, and received a full explanation from agripreneurs as well as further clarifications from the incubators’ supervisors, and all obstacles were discussed and it was agreed that an analysis of the current situation to be held and its results to be reported to Dr. Jafar Farah of IITA and accordingly the technical support plan will be developed, which is the main role of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in the Enable Youth Program.

The team also met with government officials represented by the governors of the two states and the directors general of agriculture and youth sports and were very fruitful meetings where the team presented to the governors about the work in the program from the selection of young people to the funding phase that we have now reached. The governors have shown their understanding of the program and all its challenges. Dr. Abdullah Idris al-Kanin, Wali of Al Jazeera State and Engineer Suleiman Ali Wali of Al-Qadarif, promised to stand firmly with the youth and support them with all that is available and overcome the challenges facing them, especially the problem of land, which is the biggest concern for many young people.

The team also met with Madani and Al-Qadarif Centeral Bank branches and the branches of banks operating in the two states to inform them of the overall program and the Risk-Sharing and Financing Mechanism administered by the Financing Guarantee Agency (Tayseer). Magdi Al-Bakhit, Director of The Bank of Sudan, Madani Branch, And Abdullah Jamal al-Din Takron, Director of Bank of Sudan, Al-Qadarif, exerted an appreciated efforts to facilitate the process of bringing together the directors of the branches of the two states with the program delegation, and then the orientation was carried out by Dr. Saleh Jibril on the Enable Youth Program for Agripreneurship and Dr. Fakhreddine Mohammed Hamed Al-Fadani on the Finance and Risk Sharing Mechanism (RSFM) and the Finance Guarantee Agency (TAYSEER). The banks’ representatives have expressed their understanding of all the program components and objectives and the mechanism as well and have shown their full readiness to complete the financing processes and support the projects of young people under the program, especially since there are six banks under the financing and risk-sharing mechanism that have received a guarantee deposit for agripreneurs who have been trained under the Enable Youth Program Agripreneurship.

A workshop was also held in each state, where the governors of the two states addressed it and the workshop included agricultural entrepreneurs, branch managers of The Bank of Sudan and commercial banks’ managers of the two states. Four presentations were presented through the workshop, an orientation presentation on the Enable Youth Program for Agripreneurship, a presentation on the role of the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), a presentation on funding requirement and a presentation on the funding and risk-sharing mechanism (RSFM). One of the most important outcomes of the workshop was linking the agripreneurs of the first batch to the banks operating in the two states directly where the representatives of the branches of banks showed their full readiness and therefore scheduled meetings of groups of young people for a number of banks of their choice where the process of selecting the bank that will finance is up to the agripreneur.

The visit was very successful as it resulted in a great interaction between all concerned entrepreneurs, government officials, banking sector and program departments in the two states, represented by Dr. Medani Ahmed, al-Jazira state liaison officer, his assistant Ahmed Al-Maki, Engineer Khalid Hashim, al-Qadarif state liaison officer, his assistant Nada Ahmed, and icubators, supervisors who played an active role in the success of the visit program as planned. We therefore appreciate their great efforts despite the great responsibility and challenges they face. At the end of the visit, we say that there is a new reality now for agricultural entrepreneurs in the states of Al-Jazira and Al-Qadarif, where the actual financing of their own projects began after a long wait, as they were long awaited due to many circumstances faced by the program due to the political and health factors of the country.

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