Brussels, 16 March 2012/ ARDYIS: The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) has announced the winners of the first edition of the Youth in Agriculture Blog Competition (YoBloCo Awards).

The blogs selected (from individual and institutional categories) inform on initiatives and challenges of young people engaged in agriculture, on some current agricultural and rural development issues faced by stakeholders, and on how ICT can be used, or are being used, to enhance the sector. Through comments on their posts and interactions with the public, bloggers are raising more awareness on agricultural challenges and encouraging new youth interest in the ACP (Africa, Caribbean and Pacific countries).

The prize giving ceremony will be held during the 3rd IAALD Africa Chapter conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, 21 to 23 May 2012. IAALD is the International Association of Agricultural Information Specialists.
Winners and some of the best entrants (14 individuals and institutions) will be invited to attend the conference and ARDYIS activities during the event; they will have the opportunity to exchange ideas about the challenges facing youth in agriculture and rural development. They will also be offered CTA publications.
Individual winners

Nashween (23 years old) has newly graduated in agriculture. With her blog “Nawsheen World”, she aims to put forward the main issues and key news related to agriculture in Mauritius and other developing countries. She also writes about activities she is engaged in.

Graduated in Biotechnology, Sourou (27) is passionate about agriculture and food production. His blog, “Agro Benin”, is focused on presenting and discussing the impacts of rural migration on agriculture, consequences of climate warming, government projects, challenges facing food security and other issues in Benin.

In his blog, “The Young Agropreneur”, Anthony (21) shares his experience as a young agricultural entrepreneur. He describes his blog as “a resource for information on matters concerning agriculture in Kenya and the Eastern African region”; it is also “a wake-up call for the youth to venture into agriculture”.

Insitutional Winners

Winners in the institutional category have been selected per ACP region. Based on submissions received, institutional blogs were eligible for three regions (East Africa, Caribbean, West Africa).

The winners are :

This blog is an extension of the Agribusiness Society (ABS) and is animated by young students. The content focuses on technologies which can positively impact agri-development at all levels. Technologies range from simple devices to high tech and scientific innovations, including ICTs, renewable energy production, water management etc.

Farming and Technology for Africa (FTA) is a registered association from Madagascar. The creation of this blog followed from a meeting between FTA and students of Forestry and Rural Development at the University of Antananarivo. The blog is an information and discussion platform for youth in the agricultural sector in Madagascar.

This blog seeks to highlight issues on agricultural development in Ghana and in the sub-region: policies, market access linkages, youth in agriculture, ICT applications and funding opportunities. Activities of Syecomp Business Services are also promoted on this blog.

CTA and its partners warmly congratulate winners. They thank all the participants and the people (about 3,000) who voted and commented on blogs for making this pioneering experience a success.The competition was launched in July 2011 and 92 blogs were received. For the individual category, winners have been selected from 15 finalists identified following an online voting process. The public also commented on 22 institutional blogs.

The Awards have been organized in the framework of the ARDYIS Project, in collaboration with the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), African Network for Agriculture, Agroforestry and Natural Resources Education (ANAFE), Pacific Agriculture and Forestry Policy Network (PAFPNet), Caribbean farmers’ Network (CAFAN), Yam-Pukri association, African Youth Foundation (AYF).

For more information on winners, runners-up and their blogs please visit this link