Reisproduzent und sein Berater Copyright GIZ Tanja Schreiner

Senegal: AgCelerant Academy

Promoting rice cultivation
and tackling youth unemployment

Context and challenges

Massive rice imports

Rice is a strategic sector for Senegal's food securitý. With an average per capita consumption of 80 kg per year, Senegal is one of the largest consumers of rice in Africa.

Despite the large consumption and although more than 70 percent of the country's population live directly or indirectly from agriculture, the sector has by far not exhausted its potential. This is especially true for the Senegal River Valley, where micro-farmers mainly cultivate irrigated rice. This fertile cultivation area cannot meet the country's needs. Senegal is therefore forced to resort to massive imports, which reached almost 970,000 tonnes in 2016.

From the production to the marketing of rice, Senegalese agriculture faces numerous difficulties that limit farmers' productivity and affect the performance of supply chains. As a result, consumers do not have regular access to high-quality and affordable local food, which ultimately weighs on the country's balance of trade.

To develop rice cultivation in the country while creating living wage jobs for young people in agriculture, Invest for Jobs has been supporting the agCelerant Academy project since 2020.

Project approach and project goals

Training of young agricultural entrepreneurs

The academy, launched by the company Manobi Africa and the agricultural research centre Africa Rice, trains young people in rice farming practices, agro-industrial planning and the use of digital technologies. In this way, the agCelerant Academy directly addresses the problems of youth unemployment and the deficient rice value chain and supports Senegal and its rice farmers on the path to food sovereignty.

The aim is to help young people become self-employed as providers of agricultural advisory services in their communities. In this way, they can support smallholder farmers in financing, increasing yields and improving incomes. Manobi has developed an agCelerant mobile app, the use of which allows producers to register and document their farming operations in detail. The advisors can also use the app to track activities in the fields and evaluate the producers' performance in order to identify potential for optimisation.

With the support of Invest for Jobs, all participants of the agCelerant Academy were equipped with a smartphone and a motorbike so that they could become active as providers of advisory services for rice farmers in the river valley directly after the training.

© GIZ, Tanja Schreiner

Status and outlook

Extension to other value chains

So far, with the support of Invest for Jobs, around 30 young farmers have been trained at the agCelerant Academy. Thanks to their new activity as advisors to the rice producers, they have been able to increase their income and improve their working conditions.

The successful project approach is now also being extended to cotton and peanut production in order to strengthen these value chains locally as well and create jobs for young people. For example, Manobi is currently developing a digital application that will cover the entire textile value chain in compliance with sustainability standards. In cotton, five jobs for independent advisors have been created.

In the field of peanut production, a value chain for high-quality organic peanuts is to be established. The aim is to involve smallholder farmers and develop an inclusive, ethical and ecologically sustainable system. The project aims to reach around 1,000 producers in the peanut sector and create ten jobs for young advisors.

The agCelerant Academy project is supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH as part of the Special Initiative "Decent Work for a Just Transition" of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Project details

Project status


Project locations

Senegal Saint Louis

Project objectives

Tackling youth unemployment Development of rice cultivation Digitalisation



A project with




We are looking forward to hearing from you

Under the Invest for Jobs brand, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has put together a package of measures to support German, European and African companies in investment activities that have a high impact on employment in Africa. The Special Initiative "Decent Work for a Just Transition" – the official title – offers comprehensive advice, contacts and financial support to overcome investment barriers. The development objective is to work together with companies to create up to 100,000 good jobs and to improve working conditions and social protection in its African partner countries.

Partner countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal and Tunisia.

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