Agro-business Innovation Hub is designed to be a holistic innovative approach towards driving inclusion and sustainable development in rural agriculture through value-chains development. Using an integrated framework, the Hub will combine R&D within the food industry, design-thinking, vocational training, and youth and women’s empowerment to ensure a sustainable and peaceful transformation of the communities. The role of the Hub and implementation plan are thus centred on the following:
To promote Agribusiness Development and investment in agribusiness and value chain development which carries out interventions in support of efforts to ensure food security in mostly crisis-affected rural areas in Benue state and regional communities.
Toexplore research and development (R&D) capabilitieswith collaborations and technical expertise from the University of Agriculture, Benue state, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), along with an interdisciplinary team of innovation and technology experts in the value-chain for agricultural products with specialised knowledge in areas such as food processing/packaging, logistics and supply chains, food-tech, agri-tech and so on.
To drive rural entrepreneurship and livelihood programs that promote the establishment of small-scale businesses in rural areas to create employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for vulnerable population groups such as women, youth and the victims of armed conflicts and natural disasters.
To provide technical assistance to state governments on techno-economic development options for strengthening the agro-industrial sector and fostering the equitable integration of agro-enterprises into market-oriented systems.
Provide capacity building and jobs-upskilling at institutional and industry levels as a critical means of enhancing industrial productivity and marketing performance.
To strengthen technical support to institutions and professional associations as well as to the creation of design and technology centres and demonstration units for basic and advanced technologies.
Provide support to agro-industries to improve their productivity and efficiency, increase their integration into global value chains and promote diversity in rural livelihoods. This entails skill upgrading, working methodologies and guidelines, process optimization, the diffusion of appropriate agro-engineering systems, product innovation and diversification, compliance with quality and environmental standards, and participation in trade fairs and trade missions.
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