students

THOUGHT FOR FOOD CHALLENGE- An enabler for sustainable food security

Email-able Flyer - Are you

More than ever before the issue of food security is a priority for us all. Day in day out around the world researchers, scientists, policy makers and stakeholder from various sectors even outside the agriculture sphere are working hard to proffer sustainable solution to the issue of food security. They are in labs, workshops, meetings to conceptualize solution and map out way forward. Many of these ones are old and are doing these activities not just because of the 10 -30 years or less they have to live but because they are also concerned about what becomes of the future generation( young people like myself and the child unborn). They have a lingering question at heart

BY 2050 WHAT WILL THE OVER 9BILLON PEOPLE FEED ON?

Have you thought of this yourself? Have you got some ideas in your head on how things can be made better? Have you been discussing this with a group of friends a week or two back? Have you wondered about how you can contribute to this burning issue even though you are just a student? I HAVE GOODNEWS FOR YOU

For the past 2 years, young people, students from around the world have gathered to pitch ideas and solution to the issue of feeding the world in a sustainable and environmentally manner. They have met at what is known as the “Thought for Food” Summit. They meet here not to just pitch, they network, prize money is won and of course they party to their success. Watch this video that highlights last year’s event

This year will not be am exception as the THOUGHT FOR FOOD CHALLENGE is again open to student teams to sign up for this prestigious competition with over 10000 USD to be won. I personally have followed the #TFFChallenge for two years and I can tell you these three things

  • It is absolutely worth all the effort
  • I have not seen a team from West Africa or Nigeria qualified to the top ten teams that are able to pitch their ideas at the #TFFSummit.
  • This year provides an opportunity for teams of students in Nigeria and West Africa to show case their ideas and get the chance to pitch their idea

So what needs to be done?

The TFFChallenge allows for university students (Undergraduate-Phd) from all field of study to explore and generate sustainable ideas that can help feed the world. Take for example in 2014 the team FoPo Food Power from the Lund University Sweden came up with the idea to convert unsellable and almost expiring food into food powder with dozens of uses including space mission, humanitarian aids and lot more. The powder has a longer shelf life than fresh produce and preserves nutritional qualities, properties and taste. This team came out as runner up and went home with $5000.

I am absolutely certain that the teaming number of youth in universities in Nigeria can definitely come up with an idea worthwhile and the TFFChallenge gives you the place to showcase it.

Here is what is needed

  • Sign up on www.tffchallenge.com
  • Form your team of 3-5 students from different fields,
  • Begin the TFF Challenge and develop your Project.
  • All project development and submission is due by Dec 1 2015 as finalist will be announced on the 15th of December 2015.

We all have a role as young people to contribute to the kind of future we want for ourselves and the generation to come. And this competition is one avenue to do so.

Personally I encourage all Nigerian students who are innovative and have got great ideas to team up and sign up for the TFFChallenge.

For more guidance download the student info pack here

Advertisements

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

E.K

You can read the original Post here

WAYS NIGERIA UNIVERSITIES CAN OPTIMIZE THE STUDENT INDUSTRIAL WORKING EXPERIENCE SCHEME (SIWES) PROGRAM TO BOOST AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT (ARD).

Today, I watched as students in their fourth year in my university (Federal University of Technology Akure, Nigeria) picked up their log book for the six month SIWES program. This is generated some thoughts in my head as it relates to the development and sustainability of agriculture among young people especially those studying courses related to agriculture.

The Student Industrial Working Experience Scheme (SIWES) was established by the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) in 1973 to solve the problem of adequate practical skill, preparatory for employment in industries by Nigerian Undergraduate and Diploma students of tertiary institutions. The scheme was designed for duration of six months for university undergraduates. During this period, every student is expected to acquire all necessary practical skill and orientation, as well as technical knowledge needed to adequately develop national man-power and human resources.

Based on these facts, I proffer the following suggestion to boost Agricultural Research and Development:

1.      Partnership With the Government: The universities can partner with the government by having an agreement with them that they would accept a certain number of students to intern with the Ministries of Agriculture, Ministries of Environment and Agricultural Research Bodies owned by the government. This would afford the students the opportunity to learn new things, practice what they have learnt over the years and get exposure. They could also engage in ongoing projects and be of help to the facilitators.

2.      Full Usage of University Farms and Research Centre: Oftentimes, universities have farms, the university could expand these farms and take in some students to work during the SIWES program. The farm can initiate various mini-project and research works under proper supervision that would engage the students, thus promoting skill acquisition and capacity building in ARD.

3.      Partnership with Privately Owned Agro-based Industry: Most times, student battle with getting placement in companies and industries to carry out their internship. Some even spend as much as three to four months out of the six months before getting a placement. Another set of students, even go ahead to work in places having little or no relation to their course of study. Considering these fact, the university can partner with industries and farms privately owned to take in the student during the SIWES program as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility.

4.      Payment of Monthly Stipend: In Nigeria, a stipend of about 100Dollars (15,000 Naira) is paid after the entire six months. Sadly, for the past four years it has not even been paid. Arrangement should be made to make sure it is paid and can also be reviewed that something is paid monthly rather than at the end of the whole program.

5.      Proper Documentation of Activities: The Universities should take in proper and well detailed reports of the student’s activities during the SIWES program. Their report can be a base for further research work or re-modeling of existing agricultural practices and research work.

The agricultural Sector in Nigeria can have sustainable development when young men and women coming out of the tertiary institutions have the required skills and knowledge to work with when they leave the four walls of the universities. If these suggestions can be implemented I believe there would be considerable advancement in Agricultural Research and Development.