YPARD Africa is seeking young, innovative and fresh spirited professionals to take on the role of a Country Representatives (CR) and continue its work on enabling and empowering young agricultural leaders shaping sustainable food systems. In this call, we are looking for young people specifically from: Algeria Libya Morocco Sudan Tunisia In case you are from another country in the Africa region and we...
The outbreak of COVID-19 as a global pandemic has brought ineluctable impact on all sphere of life from downturn of global economy to abrupt effect on public health. Nepal, an impecunious country whose major economy relies on agriculture production has been hard hit by this pandemic. Due to the strict lockdown enforced by the government of Nepal, seed market couldnt function...
By Marina Cherbonnier, YPARD communications and knowledge manager At YPARD, we believe in structures than renew themselves and evolve. And indeed, as the new year starts, 2017 marks changes in the YPARD Global communications team as I will be leaving. Emmie Kio Wachira is taking up the YPARD Communications management while Stacy Hammond is becoming the youth-leader communications officer. As the current...
The fourth Global Landscape Forum (GLF) held alongside the UNFCC Conference of the Parties (COP) brought together more than 5 500 people from 95 countries ,in person and online, to build solutions to climate change challenges through sustainable land use.As usual, youth had an active and meaningful participation in the forum. This year’s, Youth in Landscapes Initiative (YIL) boosted soft skills...
Lillian Beauttah was one of the six finalists of the GFAR and YPARD’s Youth Argripreneur Project, who co-founded the social enterprise Afrika Jilishe, whose aim is to increase the resilience and adaptive capabilities to climate change of nomadic pastoralists and other communities within the ASALs ( Arid and Semi-Arid Lands) by making use of high tech, low cost, and innovative solutions. Her YAP proposal is to build “The African Desert Greenhouse”, an artificial, closed ecosystem that creates viable crop growing conditions requiring a minimal amount of water. Lillian was also able to better engage in social media campaigning activities to ensure her project gained support. In addition, she has now has a mentor to help guide her during this upcoming period and make sure her project does succeed.
And now, it is 5 months later and she continues to relate her experience thus far…
What happens when you take a concept, add a generous amount of seed funding and a dash of well-targeted mentorship to it ?
Chaos…the organised variety, that is.
6 months post-GCARD 3 and the desert greenhouse that I made my YAP proposal about is finally taking shape. Here’s a brief look into its genesis.
There would be no use building the greenhouse if we had no potential customers lined up. Our thoughts on who would make the best early adopters were centred around;
Whether the school was within a drought prone region – to be a candidate, the school would have to either be within an already established feeding program or suffer from the fluctuation of food prices within periods of drought.
Distance from Nairobi and accessibility – a closer site would allow us to make regular visits during the trial period.
Whether the school incorporated Agricultural and Business studies within its curriculum – having the greenhouse would be a unique value addition even to the students’ studies.
Whether the school is within a fenced compound – this contributes heavily to the security factor.
On visiting Merrueshi School in Kajiado County, not only was our criteria met, but the school’s patron, chairman and headmaster were generous with information and genuinely seemed interested in our approach to climate smart agriculture.
With a potential school partnership secured we moved on to the next stage, one that I thought would be everything but mind-numbingly difficult—securing land to set up a prototype. Our criteria for appropriate land included;
Within Nairobi environs or close outskirts – the build and subsequent monitoring would require us to make daily trips.
Water (preferably piped) and electrical amenities available – One might wonder why we preferred to work with those already available when our final models would be completely off the grid? We felt that it would be easier to move from the known to the unknown in terms of factors for success then reverse engineer our results in terms of water requirements (thus how big a reservoir our final model would require) and electrical capacity (how many solar panels our final model would require).
Affordability – with regards to lease per season for a 6.0m x 11.0m plot
Accessibility – daily travel in what is not a particularly high car especially during the rainy season should be possible
Climatic conditions – similar to those of arid and semi arid conditions
We hadn’t anticipated that two months in we’d still be on the search for the ideal plot of land and that accessibility would have played such a huge role. From extremely poor road conditions to perfect conditions up until it rains, we saw it all. Early in we’d seen the opportunity of leasing our greenhouses from institutions that were no longer in use but as it turns out they weren’t willing to lease out to outsiders. We then pivoted into the option of leasing land from schools in Nairobi using the same criterion we’d previously established for a partner school. We packaged this proposal as a co-curricular activity to further engage students in schools with Business and Agriculture student clubs with the added benefit of the school’s self-sufficiency on the food production front.
To our utter disappointment the most ideally located school already had a greenhouse and weren’t willing to let us use a portion of their field for another. A factor that we never expected was the rigourous nature of the Kenyan Education System that dictates school management. In the event that our trying to engage students in this as as co-curricular activity or even the construction process of the greenhouse itself might in any way hamper the final year students’ studies, schools would not even consider our project.
Finally at the end of our rope, we settled on pursuing a lead from an unlikely source. This plot of land was located an hour to forty five minutes out of Nairobi in the up and coming town of Kitengela. Not exactly ideal due to distance and evening traffic that would certainly be against us, but at this point in time we were out of options.
Best decision we ever made.
The property’s owner was hugely welcoming and willing to allow us to make use of his land and amenities without any cost due to his commitment to see the youth in interesting ventures succeed.
This we broke down into;
Phase 1: Structural – The greenhouse structure and hydroponic shelf mechanism
Phase 2: Electrical – LED lighting and sensory technology
Phase 3: Mechanical – The hydroponic system and irrigation system
Initially the idea was to build the structure and design the sensory tech from scratch but a few months into the entrepreneurship game, I understood that that was a poor idea. Why? My mind had been opened up to the power of ‘ Outsourcing’ whose cousin ‘ Do it All’ is actually a factor that has led to the downfall of many ‘once -an-enterprise(s)’
Identifying an expert for the two respective structural builds was not as difficult as I’d expected. What made this exercise difficult was the unfamiliar design and exact specifications that I was proposing to the builders.
My method to get us all on the same boat was simple but I feel effective. It encompassed running through the following with the builders and material suppliers;
Design – has this been fully comprehended and what amendments from their expertise would they propose?
Materials – approximate cost, quantity and variety
Transport – cost of this to site (only after you incur charges for your own construction does this factor of production become very evident )
Labour – number of men required
Rate – per man ( once again only after you run your own construction site does it hit you that this rate should also include a meal and water )
Time frame – number of days
Currently we’re done with the first phase and making the necessary preparations to embark on the second and third that would require us to import most of the materials.
The three months of the build have taught me not only the value of patience with yourself and others in the day’s failures but also the beauty and joy that comes when you crawl into bed tired and a bit dusty after a day of building your empire.
Blogpost by Lillian Beauttah – limobachi(at)gmail.com – one of six finalists in the Youth Agripreneurs Project, a pilot project targeting young agricultural entrepreneurs (“agripreneurs”), co-organized by GFAR and YPARD. The YAP Finalists launched their projects during the #GCARD3 Global Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, 5-8 April 2016. Read Lillian’s original YAP proposal here.
You have been in touch with YPARD for a while, or you just got to know about it, and you wonder how you could get more involved with this young people’s network - actively. You are strongly welcome to come joining forces with us on getting the new generation take a crucial role for agricultural development – YPARD is your community!...
Hlamalani Ngwenya is an international consultant for GFRAS. She is involved in the “Talent development in agriculture: Growing ambitions for agricultural professionals” initiative that GFRAS is spearheading in collaboration with the International Agri-Food Network, YPARD, FAO, GCHERA, TAP, Nuffield International farming scholars and others. This coalition serves as a response to the 2013 Committee on World Food Security’s endorsement of its...
An european young professionals' experience Young professionals are motivated and willing to bring ideas to adapt to change. They enjoy working as inter-disciplinary teams which is crucial in designing solutions that answer inter-connected development issues. Through YPARD: the international network of young professionals for agricultural development, they gain the credibility to represent the youth around the world within agricultural stakeholders' discussions....
We are pleased to welcome the firsts YPARD Rwanda Communications Liaisons: Sharon Munyazikwiye and Clet Iyamenye. Sharon, the youth activist Sharon is a passionate and activist in youth and agriculture development, with a degree in Environmental Chemistry by the former National University of Rwanda and a Business Management Certificate by the Universal Class TM. With working experience both in Communications and...
To enhance our activities in Nigeria and ensure the effectiveness of YPARD in the country - especially as it relates to achieving our strategic objectives of mobilizing more members and stakeholders and build youth's capacities - a call for application was made in December 2013 for Young Professionals to be part of the National Working Group for YPARD Nigeria. We are...
La Plate-forme pour la recherche agricole pour le développement (YPARD) en Guinée, lance un appel à candidatures pour les jeunes professionnels dynamiques et talentueux, avides d'un développement agricole de façon durable, pour rejoindre l'équipe nationale en Guinée. La candidature est ouverte pour quatre (4) postes de bénévoles : 1 chargé de communications&Webmaster1 chargé de partenariat et mobilisation de ressources1 agent administratif et...
YPARD is thrilled to welcome our very first YPARD representative for Croatia: Zrinka Filipovi? Dermit. Zrinka is soon to finish her year as a graduate student at the Faculty of Agriculture in Zagreb. In this context, she often encountered various problems concerning youth involvement in agriculture. Besides student organizations which are a good starting point for international cooperation, she hadnt come...
We now have the largest youth generation in human history. What do we do with this restless generation? Far too often activities are taking place without the input from young people. Thembi (Sithembile Ndema) started, as the hard talk moderator at the Youth session of the Global Landscapes Forum, 16th November, Warsaw, Poland. 10 young speakers were selected among 150 applications...
By Courtney Paisley and Marina Cherbonnier YPARD was extremely active in this years' AASW. From identifying many excellent active youths for participation, organising a YPARD side event, participating and contributing to other AASW side sessions to social reporting of the event on-site and online. The three side events with a strong youth component include the Gender and Youth Side Event, the...
In the viewpoint of economic analyst, today's world can be divided into developed and developing countries with significant differences as in development of science and technology,'' shared by Prof. Dayananda Bajracharya, former vice-chancellor of Nepal Academy of Science and Technology(NAST). The key element holds with adequate scientific discussions to affect the positive change. And here are silver linings; scientific symposium organized...
YPARD is delighted to welcome Rahel Wyss as the new Country Representative for Switzerland. Because of new intense professional paths, Johanna has decided to hand over her role as YPARD Switzerland representative to another Young Professional. Read her testimonial about her experience with YPARD. Rahel Wyss has been already fully involved with YPARD in Switzerland; she substituted Johanna at a SFIAR...
With successful completion of YPARD Awareness Campaign in agricultural universities of Nepal, YPARD had made a call to working body in Nepal. After series of informal gatherings and discussions, on 7-8 August 2013 YPARD Nepal hosted its first formal meeting including all the local representatives in Rampur, Chitwan making significant decisions for the year round activities. “YPARD is a global platform;...
We are currently witnessing a second urbanization wave. By 2050, the large majority of the additional 3 billion people will live in Asian and African medium-sized cities. Pressures will be the greatest where the urban and institutional infrastructure is the weakest. Many of the cities that will be created do not even exist yet. Many of the ones that do exist...
YPARD is delighted to welcome Mohamed Sippo as YPARD Sierra Leone representative. Mohamed shares with us his inspiration and what led him to work for youth in agricultures empowerment and to become YPARD representative. When I worked with RESTLESS DEVELOPMENT a leading youth led Organization in Sierra Leone, I realized that youths are the solutions to problems and are not the...
YPARD is glad to welcome Eric MAVARUGANDA as YPARD Burundi representative. Eric MAVARUGANDA is passionate about rural areas with major concern about agricultural development in Africa. He is convinced that rural areas can be attractive even more than urban centers. Therefore he created an organization in Burundi gathering rural youth : the JRCPF (la jeunesse rurale en action contre la pauvreté et la...