Start Them Early Program

What is STEP

STEP is a mechanism that introduces agribusiness education to schools and communities, in a manner that better directs young people in secondary schools, towards career and business paths in modern agriculture through improved agricultural instructions.
Goal: To change the perception of young people towards agriculture and raise a generation of young agribusiness leaders.

Target audiences:

  • 90 secondary schools (30 schools each in Kano, Kaduna and Lagos States)
  • 9,360 students (younger youth), in 90 secondary schools, across Kaduna.
  • STEP will influence about 84,000 young people indirectly in schools, families and communities.

Our Achievement

States
Schools
Teachers
Students

STEP Hybrid Model

STEP uses a hybrid model that integrates the agricultural innovations, transferred to schools, through the teachers and students, with members within their immediate environment – The Communities. It combines the Train-the-Trainer methods as well as the Community E-Learning strategy.
STEP Hybrid model creates the opportunities for young people (mostly school students) to become change agents; to acquire and transfer skills and agricultural innovations to their families and the communities at large.
Key to this strategy are the school agriculture teachers and instructors. They are taken through a series of Train-the-Trainer learning phases to better understand and apply the four (4) STEP Hybrid approaches for the students.

this allows the students to learn by doing, and it comprises of student home agribusiness projects and school demonstrations farms. Students are given opportunities to complement the theoretical agricultural instructions received in the classroom settings with practical’s either on the school demonstrations farms or while carrying out home agribusiness projects. Practical experiences are based on the use and promotion of modern technologies along different agri-food value chains; crop production, livestock farming, value addition.

STEP clubs are established in schools to allow students get engaged in many activities outside the formal school curriculum. Within these clubs, students will develop leadership skills, entrepreneurship and agribusiness management skills, together with other important life skills. Activities such as career talk, excursions, debates and agric-based competitions will be used. The clubs will be open to all registered students and will be student-led, which will be supervised by the school agriculture science teachers and other volunteers.

Different digital technologies are used to attract young people to agriculture and to promote the applications of ICT in agriculture among community members, including farmers. Development and promotion of different audio-visual materials to stimulate agribusiness understanding and provide incentives for actions along different agricultural value chains. Simple online learning platforms will be made available for students and other young people to access STEP learning materials. School teachers will also use this platforms to receive training guidelines and updated modules, and also access improved agribusiness knowledge.

STEP will explore partnerships with reputable agriculture firms and institutes to produce short video clips of how they make products and provide services within the agricultural ecosystem. This will give the students and other young people the exposure, to understand the opportunities people are using to generate income and contribute to food production. Events such as School Farm Open days, Community Farm Visits, will be organized at the end of production cycles or school academic terms to exhibit products from the school demonstration fields and home gardens, to parents and teachers and community members. This is expected to stimulate sustainable interest among the students and other beneficiaries, to be committed to modern agriculture been promoted.

Our Partners