Growing Innovation and Harvesting Results

10003702_787926704576720_3934986593819828360_o“The most important thing is to have the will and the motivation to change the way in which we think about agriculture…”

Last Saturday 29th we had the final evaluation meeting for the Urban Agriculture Competition for Youth. We invited the 5 participating teams to exchange ideas and present their projects. “The will and the motivation to change” was the answer of one of the teams when we asked them “What is it that you need for your project to escalate and have a real impact in Ouanaminthe?”

For Solkomyo, this way of thinking is proof of how young people can be crucial on generating sustainable changes in the communities by fostering new and innovative ways to address some of their most pressing issues. Each of the 5 teams that took part on our project were given basic training in urban agriculture, plus packages of 3 different species of seeds (tomatoes, carrots and egg plants) and worked during 5 weeks under the premise of developing creative and viable initiatives to grow food in their city.

Most of the projects were focused on highlighting the importance of recycling while at the same time offered a cheap, accessible alternative to growing food around the house, so for example many of them used plastic bottles, chips bags and styrofoam cases to grow the seeds. The projects, however, weren’t limited to this, they took a step further and came up with new ways to locate the plants taking in consideration the limitations of a urban context, they developed methods to put the pots on the walls and to set up terrace systems. 

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Moving beyond the competition factor, the meeting worked as a space to share experiences and to encourage the team members to replicate the most successful projects in their houses and schools.

We are specially thankful to “Jeunes en Action” a youth group formed during Ashoka Youth Venture activities that helped of facilitating the project. We are excited about the results and hope to be able to keep supporting local efforts to be food independent.

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