Deadline is November 4 2016.

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is now accepting applications for our Next Generation Delegation from students to participate in the Global Food Security Symposium 2017. The symposium will be held on March 29-30, 2017, in Washington, DC.

The 2017 symposium will offer key insights on how to leverage past successes, and invigorate future efforts, amidst an evolving global landscape. This unique window of opportunity is a chance to help shape the next decade of leadership on global food security.

Next Generation Delegates will have the opportunity to:

  • interact with symposium speakers and senior attendees in private forum;
  • network with other outstanding students planning careers in global food, agriculture, and nutrition sectors;
  • connect with key stakeholders from the public, private, and NGO sectors in private meetings; and
  • select delegates may also participate in symposium side events, panel discussions, or video interviews.

Rapporteurs will play an important role by attending working group “Solution Sessions” in Washington, DC, and capturing key themes and outcomes discussed at private working group sessions. The aim of this position is to allow students to participate in the working groups and the symposium and to ensure that the proceedings and outcomes are clearly recorded and shared with participants for follow-up action. The Solution Sessions will be held on March 29, and rapporteurs will also be invited to the symposium on March 30.

Candidate Responsibilities

Delegates are expected to:

  • Attend all symposium-related events in Washington, DC, on March 29-30, 2017. The Council will cover round trip airfare, accommodations, and meal expenses.
  • Prepare a commentary piece for the Global Food for Thought blog on food security, shocks to the global food system, and entrepreneurship and innovation, as it relates to their area of research focus and career trajectory.
  • Support social media outreach, which includes engaging your respective universities and disseminating information about the symposium, its featured report and the live stream to your networks.
  • Contribute to and participate in the event’s social media plans, and responsibilities as required.
  • Participate in a private post-event debriefing session and complete an online evaluation of the event.

Candidate Criteria:

Students must be at the graduate or advanced undergraduate (third or fourth year) level studying agricultural development, social entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship, or other food security related disciplines. Students must plan to enter the agriculture and food sector upon graduation. International students and students studying at universities outside of the United States are strongly encouraged to apply.

To Apply

Interested applicants should complete this application form , providing the following:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Two professional or academic references
  • A letter of recommendation from a professor or employer
  • A brief essay (maximum 500 words) on one of the following topics as it relates to their area of study: innovation and technology in the global food system, global food security and global stability, sustainable and equitable development of food systems.

The deadline for applications is November 4, 2016. Please note incomplete applications will not be considered. If you have in questions about the Next Generation Delegation, please contact

For More Information visit –


Youth entrepreneur using ICT to grow agribusinesses


Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has grown many businesses in several sectors, and young entrepreneurs are now using ICT to tap into the gold-mine inherent in agribusinesses. Olawale Ojo, chief executive, Agropreneur Nigeria, provides business support services for farmers and young agriculturists. Apart from advocacy and capacity building for aspiring agro-entrepreneurs, the business provides information and business support to help them grow.

“We do research and share the information via social media to enable a proper understanding of what is happening in the sector. We also profile successful young agropreneurs and share their story so that others can learn, and this serves as an incentive to these hardworking young people. I started the business April 30, last year,” according to Ojo.


Ojo has a degree in Agricultural Engineering from the Federal University of Technology Akure and a diploma in Integrated Farming Systems from the Songhai Centre for Production, Training, and Research, Porto Novo, Benin Republic.


He says: “My inspiration came after my course at the Songhai Centre. It served as an eye opener for me as I worked with other youths from different parts of Africa exploring the agricultural value chain. So, using my knowledge of ICT, I provide capacity building services using social media as a tool for knowledge and information sharing to help young entrepreneurs boost their agribusinesses. Though the main target are youths, we also work with older farmers and investors in agribusiness generally.”


The business no doubt has its own fair share of challenges. “Building a team and a structure for my business was a bit of a challenge. Financing was also challenging. I got help from older ones in the field and mentors I have met along the way such as the CEO of Centre for Urban Agricultural Development, the lady Olatoye, who was really helpful in my starting up. I also learned a lot from materials I read from research organisations.”

Future prospects

I have joined my parents in running a family farm. But I want Agropreneur Nigeria to have its own farm, a very big one, where we can give youths practical training in agricultural production/agribusiness so they can start their own businesses. We also want to do market facilitation for farmers in rural areas as well as provide qualitative extension services for them. Fortunately, more and more youths are willingly setting up agrobusinesses in Nigeria and in other countries. They are beginning to see that the agricultural sector is a gold-mine that needs tapping. And it is now time to act and start employing innovative ways to key into the sector, despite the challenges we have.”

This article about me was published the Business Day Newspaper Edition of July 22 2013

An open Letter to Agricultural Students

MY dear friend Emmie Kio from Kenya had put up this open letter on her blog. I totally agree with her and found it worth sharing with you all . Enjoy reading ..


Dear Agricultural students,

“Go to the University and get yourself a degree.Be grateful that you got a chance to be part of the team” . This is just one of the many statements you will encounter in your path to learning that agricultural course . 

Its these statements that will make you feel awful as to why you didn’t get that Medicine position that you so hoped to and what you never thought of choosing during the JAB selection process turns out to be what you get. Now this is what happens. Agricultural sciences have been degraded in the past often being given the last option.During the JAB courses allocation, when all  other disciplines have their fill  the remaining un-allocated  students are lumped in to the Agricultural sciences as very few students pick them as their first choice.

Well you have no choice. You go with what is written in black and white. Three weeks after commencing your studies, your classmates  will do inter-faculty transfers with a majority of them blindly escaping to Faculty of Arts, BA to be specific. They cite reasons like Economics students have the say in campus when it comes to dressing and partying. Don’t despair. You never came to school for dressing or partying reasons. You came to gain knowledge. You neighbors and some family members will also be on your neck disapproving your choice of  career, telling you how scanty jobs are in the agricultural arena.Listen to their concerns and be wise enough to settle on the best decision. And while at it, be bold enough to tell them that as farmers ………….

For without food there’s basically nothing the economist or the technology person can do. They all depend on farmers for daily sustenance. So imagine what happens when a new generation of farmers isn’t raised to replace the old one? I bet you must have read that the average age of a farmer in Kenya is above 55 years of age constituting mostly of the old and retired. So what will happen when there’s no one to continue the farming profession?We shall all starve and die, right? Or maybe manufacture our food in the laboratories.

In addition to showing that you aren’t in the scam of professions, consider Prince Williams ,the Duke of Cambridge, who chose to enroll  himself  for an Agricultural Management course at Cambridge University so as to gain a deeper understanding of  issues affecting Agricultural businesses and rural communities in the UK. And it doesn’t end there. We have  celebrities the likes of Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Russell Crowe all preferring to get down in their farms.
(Olawale OJO- And even D’banj in Nigeria)

“I don’t think any place of dirt anywhere in the world means more to me than this.” 
Russell Crowe

So, Why am i saying this?

Its basically to show you that you are what you believe you are. And any career is as important as you deem it right in your mind. Passion is what it takes to be what you want to be and to be gracefully good while at it and job opportunities will follow you. And that is regardless of what people will tell you about the farming career. Let it come from within you.

Enough said so,……..

Yours’ farming


You can read the original Post here

Sustainable food systems for food security and nutrition -IFAD President’s speech #WFD

Statement by IFAD President on the occasion of the 33rd observance of World Food Day

Today, on World Food Day, I am not going to talk to you about climate change, although our topic is sustainable food systems.

Neither am I going to talk to you about the financial environment, although it has an important relationship to food security.
Nor am I going to talk to you about the 842 million men women and children who go to bed hungry every night, appalling as that statistic is.

You already know about the human suffering caused by poverty and hunger, and the role played by climate change and unstable economies.
Today, what I want to talk to you about is not what is wrong, but about the steps we must take to set it right. I want to talk about three elements that are preconditions for sustainability. Three things that need to change because, without them, all of our well-meant efforts will not be generating the lasting benefits that 842 million people need.

The first thing that must change is government policy. It is time for governments to go beyond words to action. Every country needs policies for inclusive growth to maximize its food production potential, and in many countries that means supporting smallholder-led agriculture.

This includes policies that offer incentives for investment in agriculture and reduce the risks for farmers and private sector partners alike. Policies that encourage inclusive business models. Policies that facilitate the ability of poor farmers to access finance and technology and to have rights to water and land.

We are starting to see progress, with national policies being tailored to local needs. In Burundi, for example, IFAD supported CAADP in lobbying for policy changes. As a result, the government has introduced fertilizer subsidies and increased the share of the budget to agriculture from 3.6 per cent in 2010 to 10 per cent in 2012; or in Panama, where an IFAD-supported project provided economic and logistic support for negotiating laws for indigenous peoples’ land rights.

And there are also encouraging developments with Ethiopia’s Agricultural Transformation Agency, Tanzania’s Growth Corridor. And, of course, my own country, Nigeria, which has made agriculture a top priority of its Transformation Agenda.

Now to the second element – of effective institutions – because policies are only worth the paper they are written on if they are supported by strong institutions. We have seen the power of institutions to transform agriculture and economies in Brazil, where EMBRAPA, working jointly with other national and state level institutions, has contributed to an enormous transformation in just 30 years. Today, Brazil is no longer a food importer and becoming one of the biggest producers and exporters in the world.

The third essential element for sustainable food systems is infrastructure, from production to processing plants, warehouses, roads and ports.

Today, more than one third of the rural population of sub-Saharan Africa lives five hours from the nearest market town of 5,000 people, making transport and marking costs too high. Across the continent, badly maintained roads are the norm.

Equally important are processing and storage facilities. An estimated 20 to 40 per cent of crop production is lost in sub-Saharan Africa because of deterioration after harvest. Post-harvest losses on this scale are scandalous, particularly on a continent where millions of people go hungry.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We know that smallholders can contribute to sustainable food systems if they have well-functioning infrastructure, supportive policies and institutions. We have seen it in Brazil, China, Malaysia, and Viet Nam.

On this World Food Day, let us renew our commitment to a world without hunger. Let us work to support governments that are making the right policies, governments that are building effective institutions and governments that are investing in infrastructure.

But let us also call on every government to do its part.

As I have said before, I will say again today: No amount of sunlight or rainfall will allow a plant to grow and flourish unless it is first fully rooted in its own soil.

Growth and development are intrinsic processes and they must first be nurtured and cultivated from within. Only then can external forces add value to the process.

Thank you.

16 October 2013, Rome
Sourced HERE

The Urban Food Security challenge: a step towards winning the Hunger Games


The FARA Social Reporters Blog

Are the Hunger Games real?

If you read Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games Trilogy or watch its 2012 film adaptation with Jennifer Lawrence, for some of you the settings of the book/movie would seem very familiar: a dystopian society where people live in (sometimes extreme) hunger and poverty and are obliged to fight for food and survival. It the surreal world of Panem presented in ‘The Hunger Games’, it seems that a few of the world`s rich control the food supply and that give food to those in need.

View original post 818 more words

Using innovative ideas to make money in: Crop Processing and Packaging

make money in: Crop Processing and Packaging

Kalu Samuel's Blog

packaged ijebu garri

packaged ijebu garri

Been a long time since my last post: Using innovative ideas to make money in: Crop Farming. I hope you enjoyed the ideas shared and are already applying the action plan. I have been busy with some projects, especially organising what would be the biggest Youth Strategic Development Programme in Nigeria, involving 5,000 youths across the nation and enlightening them on the various opportunities available in the business sector, especially Agripreneurship and how they can be self reliant!

Anyway, back to the main topic for today. There are various food products you can add value to that will fetch you cool cash, have you ever thought of blending Mallow Leaves (Ewedu in Yoruba) and packaging them in small containers at a price 5 times the retail price of the fresh leaves!

Other products you can add value to by processing and packaging include: Cassava tuber:
Cassava Flour…

View original post 103 more words


On April 29 2012, fifteen (15) young men and women came together to discuss on the future of agriculture and agric-business in Nigeria.

The EU-25 is a monthly entrepreneur forum which is done over lunch where entrepreneurs under the age of 25 come together to discuss on how effectively create change positively. The EU-25 is put together by the Olusola Amusan Company (OAC).

The month of April 2012, focused on Agriculture and how youth can transform the sector. The facilators were two young farmers; Mr. Ajifola Afolabi of NETIVA Farms and Mr. Olalekan Bankole a fish farmer and a consultant with the Ondo State Government on Agric matters.

During the introduction, Moses Ogunyemi, who is a student and a poultry farmer acknowledged the growing population of Nigeria and the need for people to be feed at all times. Thus stressing the need for we the youth to take charge and transform agriculture in Nigeria.

Olalekan Bankole, a graduate of Forestry and Wood Technology and a Fish farmer elaborated on the challenges faced especially in the Agric-business in Nigeria and as it relates to youth.

Some of them are:

  • Lack of interest on the part of youth to engage in agriculture. An example was a Local Government Area in Ondo State, Nigeria, where having set up a tomato paste processing plant, the government asked that the youth in the community joins hands to work together on a tomato plantation so as to get the raw materials and the youth refused because they saw it as work for the poor. Most young ones have no passion for agriculture. They want quick money.
  • Low number of agro-based industry.
  • Inconsistent weather for arable crop farmers.
  • Need for more machineries.
  • Unfavorable government policies as it relates to accessing funds and land acquisition.
  • A large gap between Academics & Research and what happens on the field.

The group moved on to discuss some the way out. Afolabi Ajifola of NETIVA Foods shed light on how to make use of the few opportunities open to us as agropreneurs effectively such as

  • Ways to access loan from the Bank of Agriculture, Nigeria
  • Ways to get access to farm machineries to work on farm lands through the Ministry of Agriculture and other bodies and organizations.

At the end of the forum, the 15 young people agreed to the following sets ways to improve and transform agricultural development in Nigeria:


  • Massive sensitization of Nigerian youth on the need to get involved in Agricultural development and the benefits that comes from it.
  • Initiation of an Agroclub to aid networking of young farmers.
  • The need to be more information and opportunity conscious and make proper use of the internet for effective sensitization and information dissemination as it relate to agriculture and agric-business.
  • Creating networks and synergy among like minds to create and manage agric-businesses.
  • Acquisition of entrepreneurship skills
  • Improving our food processing skills so as to give out quality finished products.
  • The government also needs to be shown that the future of agriculture lies in the hands of the youth. And this can only be done when we defy all odds, start small and showcase our works to the government.

We thus all agreed that with proper passion, vision, persistence, networking, hard work and making effective use of information and opportunities available we truly can change our future for the better through agriculture.