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

Brand New (this month) on tech4agri

tech4agri page updatesIn keeping up that standard here are some new additions to the tech4agri blog!

Meet the Youth in Ag for the month! Firstly we have a friend in development, Marina Cherbonnier of France! A dedicated young professional who seeks to help many others like herself. Skilled in ICT for development, she works as one of the major organizers of the Young Professionals Platform for Agricultural Research and Development. To interact with her find her on twitter @MarinaDev or on YPARD.NET

Next we have my very good friend and colleague, Alpha Sennon of  Trinidad and Tobago! Another dedicated youth in agriculture. He is a farmer first above all else. This adds greatly to his academic background as very successful student of agribusiness and as a development advocate. I have personally worked with Alpha on the executive of Agribusiness Society of  the University of the West Indies and also on group projects in a practical, hands on setting. Visit his profile on LinkedIn

Additionally organisations Info Dev and App campus, have been added to the AGRI LINK WALL. Visit the page today for a list of useful organisations in many an agricultural endeavor both regionally (Caribbean) and internationally based. Feel free to suggest any organisations or groups that can be placed on the LiNK WALL for the benefit of all.

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Stitched Panorama

Faculty of Engineering – University of the West Indies. Source:

This week, another introspective  event takes place as I interview Mr. Robert Birch PHd candidate at the University of the West Indies (UWI) at the Faculty of Engineering.  Mr. Birch has completed his Bsc and MPhil in Agricultural Engineering  at UWI, a program that has since been discontinued at the undergraduate level. However a much more extensive, specific and well structured program exists in the form of a Bsc in Mechanical Engineering with a Minor in Bio systems Engineering.Keron: Could you briefly tell me about the work of an Agricultural engineer?

Mr. Birch: Previously the agricultural engineer would be trained to solve problems in agriculture and food systems He/she is expected to apply technologies to the field. The sector demands someone who understands structures, materials, water management, soils and other areas. He/She should receive this training from the Faculty of Engineering at the University of the West Indies.

However the agriculture sector in Trinidad has over time been given a negative stigma, leading to a decrease in student application for the program. Therefore the Faculty in its wisdom restructured the Bsc program, re-branding it in order to ensure that when students leave the University that they are employed.

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tech4agri – on point

Slide1This week, tech4agri does some introspection with several changes to the blog. As promised upgrades have been made. Let’s take a quick look!

(1) First off the blog’s new logo takes center stage as part of the new header and title.

(2) Next an entirely new menu is now available. Agri product of the month is a set space for entrepreneurs and business professionals to advertise their products and services.

Two options are placed for Youth in agriculture Spotlight to highlight their activities, whether it be their profile, blog or other activity. Every month two young professionals in agriculture will be featured.

Then there is a standard About page which has just been updated and upgraded with a short promotional video.

Lastly a page is dedicated to the Agribusiness Society of  the University of the West Indies, a student organisation which the blog is associated with.

(3) Of course, Don’t forget to subscribe via email address! Continue reading

After the end of Agriculture…?

Source: – As depicted the carbon dioxide from an opera singer is used to stimulate the taste of the algae which in turn can then be eaten.

Readers! The last few posts have been centered on agricultural research,agri-policy, agri-youth among few others.

Getting back to the major theme of this blog we focus on the website  Via a BBC report, I came across this online gem with the tagline:

What new cultural revolution will replace agriculture? How will our species and civilization be transformed?

The website is focused on a strange amalgamation of technology, art and agriculture that give a futuristic vision of food production. Confused? I know I am.

In browsing the source tells of Algaculture which is the study and cultivation of species of algae for human consumption.

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Several weeks ago I announced that This very Blog was a WINNER in  the Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation’s (CTA) Yobloco Awards (Youth in Agriculture Blog Competition). Thankfully through the support of readers like you the blog won in the Institutional Category for the Caribbean Region.

As part of the prize package, representative winners in that category as well as the Individual category where sponsored and invited to attend the 3rd International Association of Agricultural Information Specialist (IAALD) Africa Chapter Conference in Johannesburg from the 21st – 23rd May 2012. Runners up were also invited.

As part of the events of the conference the CTA ARDYIS project (Agriculture Rural Development and Youth in Information Society) held a Workshop event for the winners, runners up, the CTA committee and specially invited guests to identify ways in which  youth can benefit from ICTs and their use in  Agriculture for the overall development of both them and the sector.

The event was a great success and gave many of us youth a sense of achievement, pride and duty as we all contributed to a greater need. Personally I had never been to any part of Africa so that was indeed an experience.

Furthermore it was my first time meeting other youth with a passion for blogging, something we can share and relate to each other. Furthermore we all blog about or are involved with Agriculture with ICT acting as a support system in several ways. During the conference many other individuals represented numerous  agri-institutions throughout Africa and in many parts of the world. These include West, East, Central Africa, Europe and the Pacific.

The event allowed many of us to connect and network for the benefit of the global agricultural sector in the future. The CTA  and its partners continue to host competitions such as this one. I urge you, young agri students and professionals alike to seek out such events and try your hand at them; the experience and rewards are certainly worthwhile.

The winners, runner’s up and their prolific blogs can all be found here at the CTA ARDYIS website whereas the events of the IAALD Conference can be found on the IAALD AFRICA Chapter website.