I became an avid gardener as a child, tending to my family’s vegetable plot and participating in the young farmers’ club maize plot in school. “I knew all the plant names by heart. It just came to me easily—agriculture, geography, and math were my favorite subjects.” Today, she is inspiring students in her community to “think green” and get excited about agriculture.
After completing her undergraduate studies in 2010, Jacinta founded “The Green Generation”, a social development enterprise aimed at closing the gap in secondary school agricultural training.
“Students have very little knowledge about agriculture—they get only theoretical training,” she laments. “In 2011, I did a survey among young people about agricultural knowledge and I was shocked at the results. One question I asked was, ‘Where do you get pumpkin seeds?’ Most people answered ‘trees.’” Jacinta started setting up agriculture clubs in schools growing vegetable gardens, with 6 schools as a pilot program with a seed grant she won in a first prize place of Womenterprise fellowships by Exxonmobil/Vital Voices organized by Idea builders Initiative.
Between 2013 and 2015, she was employed as a supply chain associate at AACE Food Processing and Distribution ltd, where she worked to increase the incomes of smallholder farmers. “Through her work and full support of the organization, she connected over 1500 farmers to direct access markets, 100 farmers to receive a 10million naira loan and drove several agricultural value chains to work in 5 states of Southern and Northern Nigeria.
Today, she is resiliently working to raise thought provoking leaders in agriculture through “The Green Generation” and has secured a partnership with Osun State University fully funded by IDRC, a Canadian research organization to reach over 20,000 farmers within the next 3 years and 200 schools within Southwestern Nigeria in agricultural training, mentoring, and growing vegetable gardens.
She works with smallholder farmers in all 7 southwestern states including Kwara State to train, empower smallholder farmers with good production practices (GAPs), climate adaptation techniques, value chain development and market accessibility.
Jacinta is a Soil Scientist and Land Resources Manager by profession, a facilitator and trainer. She is a Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum (Lagos Hub), an African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) fellow, a Sustainable Agriculture Advocate, a Professional Member of the Women Organizing for Change Global Network, an associate on the Agriculture, Food and Human Values society.
She is an ardent lover of God and mentor to countless youth on sustainable agricultural development!
Project Field Scientist
Chinyere Onyia is a Food Scientist with over three years’ experience in food quality control and new product development. She studied Food Science and Technology at the University of Nigeria Nsukka. She has post graduate training form ARMTI Nigeria, Wageningen University Netherlands and The University of Sydney Australia.
Chinyere worked as Research and development Associate for AACE Foods where she led the organisation to create food products from indiginoues plants that met international standards. She led her team to register over seven products with National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). She initiated collaboration with The Standard Organization of Nigeria to review Industrial Spices Standards to take into consideration the interest of small holder farmers.
She joined the Green Generation Initiative as “Project Field Scientist”. She works as Innovation Platform facilitator of MicroVeg, a project working on improving production, value addition and market access of neglected indigenous vegetables.
Chinyere is also passionate about education. She is the Pioneer Country Coordinator for Solar Empowered School and Member Board of Trustees, Africa Reachout Foundation.
Uche Patrick is a young, talented and potential Nigerian who is passionate about change using politics. He studied Business Administration at Osun state college of Technology, Esa-Oke and currently works as an administrative officer at THE GREEN GENERATION INITIATIVE.
He is an ardent leader as he served in various leadership roles at the institution. He was the PRESIDENT of the Business administration department (2014/2015), AUDITOR in Igbo Student Association, Esa-Oke Chapter (2014/2015), TREASURER, Pathfinder Movement, Osun axis (2014/2015) which he succeeded in all his responsibilities.
He is a passionate person who believes in himself and believes success doesn’t have an end. He loves to meet and interact with people because he believes “UNITY is KEY to achieve goals”.
Tony Joy is a young passionate lady who believes in creating change via impact. She is a graduate of English from Obafemi Awolowo University. She is the Project Lead and Founder WeAreM.A.D Initiative, a network of young people dedicated to ‘Making a Difference’ in Nigeria.
She enjoys volunteering and wishes to devote her whole life to adding impact to her society and the world at large. She currently is a volunteer at FLD in Africa, UN Volunteering, YALI NETWORK, ARTICLE 25, GYCC and many other organizations.
She doubles as a youth friendly personality and an idea consultant, which gives her the zeal to reach out the youths in her generation. She believes that practical experience sharing is very important in motivating any generation and is committed to ensuring that people use their stories to add values to the lives of others. She prefers to be known as a Youth Environmentalist and Community development worker.
She is a Queen Young Leader (2015), an AFRIASPIRE fellow, a Volunteer Youth Activist for Ignite Youth Africa, a young leader for Global Alliance for Youth Leaders (GAYL). She is also mentee with WISCAR (2015/2016), a SIP Fellow (2015/2016 class) of LEAP Africa, an Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society and an Associate Fellow of Youth Action Network.
She is a strong and young advocate of leadership by action and example. As a watch word she believes that “You are too valuable to be wasted.