The Thought for Food Summit – Truly Motivating!

TFFChallengeWow! This is all I had to say about the Thought for Food Global Summit! Truly a different experience. Each aspect of the competition leading up to the Summit, held, 20- 22 September in Berlin, was geared towards young people. 97% of the attendees were all under 35 years. Emphasis was placed on idea sharing, thinking outside of the box, starting a movement, networking  and much more all geared the need towards uprooting the status quo (#uprootthestatusquo) as it relates to hunger, obesity, global food systems and food security. Attendees were able to meet with and learn immensely from experts and real world practitioners in agriculture, innovation, entrepreneurship, venture capital, public policy, and food science of the future.

(Click the picture link to the left for the #TFFChallenge Overview)

“Thought For Food inspires new ideas and bold approaches to tackle the world’s food issues. This is a wake up call. The world’s food system needs changing, and business as usual won’t cut it. We need new thinking, inspired solutions and urgent action to make a difference. That’s why we have created Thought for Food.”

In just two days, myself and other team members have learned so much. Our minds have literally been opened in terms of thinking not only about food issues but our personal approach to the situation. Not to mention the sheer number of  dedicated, young people, entrepreneurs, researchers and travelers from all around the world looking to make a difference in one way or other.

Photos by Tobias Jaeger - Thought for Food Challenge Organizing Team and Luke Smith of Lukesmithtv

Photos by Tobias Jaeger – Thought for Food Challenge Organizing Team and Luke Smith of Lukesmithtv

The future lies in Vertical Farming

More and more the talk of the global agriculture diaspora centres on the ever increasing global population and the threat of food insecurity. Currently the global agri food system is steeped in money, food wastage and an economical contrived structure that makes it extremely difficult to feed the world. That being said it is not impossible. However fighting the giant that is today’s food system is not the best route to solving food and nutrition issues for developing countries.

In the nation of Singapore, one company has made strides to tackle the issue via vertical farming. This concept has been feature on tech4agri before. However it is no longer a concept and very much a viable agricultural technique. Sky Greens has had created a powerful system to bring fresh grown vegetables to the country’s local food system. For more on their efforts visit this VIDEO LINK.

According to their website, Sky Greens

“The World’s first low carbon hydraulic water-driven, tropical vegetable urban vertical farm, using green urban solutions to achieve enhanced green sustainable production of safe, fresh and delicious vegetables, using minimal land, water and energy resources.”

Sky Greens

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The AGRI LiNK Wall

Sometimes local, regional and international structures in the agricultural diaspora can be overwhelming. Networks, Institutions, businesses, organizations and databases are spread everywhere. With our connected world, they may not be hard to access but it is a huge amount of information to sift through.

Finding the right resource is key for many persons interested in agriculture in anyway. And given the inter-connectedness of food as a necessity for all, it just about relates to every one. In this light tech4agri is proud to present the The AGRI LINK Wall!

This page is a brand new feature of the tech4agri blog and can be found to the left of the homepage as the first item on the menu. It provides valuable links to the global discourse in agriculture. Links are provided to research institutions, innovative agribusinesses, internet resources, powerful networks and influential organizations. Feel free to browse to find the agri information that you need!

AGRI LINK WALL

While you’re at it, check out the new ‘Youth in Ag’ for the month of May. Idowu Ejere is a young professional at the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA). She functions as the communications officer and social media coordinator for the organisation. You can visit her blog where she writes her musings and experiences as a young diplomat.

Apeh Omede is an animal scientist, university lecturer and PhD researcher in poultry science. His interest lies in social change in Agriculture and Youth Development. He established and runs the Agro Youth Centre, a blog committed to helping youths venture into agriculture for development by sharing views and ideas about the potentials and the opportunities that agriculture presents to the youths of today.

Look forward to upcoming posts on agricultural engineering, insights into the small producer of the Caribbean and other pieces of investigative journalism! Stay dedicated!

Seconds ago I finished an article on the problems that young farmers, the challenges they face and how they overcome them. In that article an interview was undertaken with a successful young farmer. he indicated that:

…most times there is a lack of technical support, which leads we young producers having to take risks with new technoques and technologies that we hope are innovative enough to better our enterprise.

Who is responsible for ‘technical support’? Most would say this is the job of extension officers. It’s almost a given that if one speaks to most small farmers, they would argue that extension officers are not very helpful. They lack in technical knowledge, they do not visit often and simply do not meet the needs the farmer – are common phrases. However is this the fault of the extension worker? Does he or she have the right tools and resources for the job? Are they experienced in face to face communication and mediation skills? How many small farmers do you think he/she has to cater to in one day or even in one week?

Fortunately previous investigation has provided great enlightenment. Here are some of the problems as explained by local extension officers:

  • Limited rescources in terms of office equipment – Some offices share 2 – 3 computers making data collection and processing difficult and time consuming
  • Issues with farmer communication – Officer must sometimes use their personal phones to keep in contact with farmers. Even so some farmers simply do not make use of mobile phones
  • In some areas, there are too few officers to service numerous small farmers.
  • Extension officers often rival with private companies for the attention of the farmers. large business and input suppliers expend resources promoting their products, most commonly chemicals.

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