Introduction to Series 1
Agriculture is very fundamental to the sustenance of every society and serves as the backbone to economic development, supporting the production of food for human development and raw materials for industries. Sustainable agricultural development in any country is propelled by agricultural programmes for the purpose of providing adequate, nutritional and healthy food for all and towards the realization of a world without hunger (SDG 2). This laudable goal is challenged with the various effects of climate change leading to low farm yield, poverty and household hunger. Food production is also threatened due to old age of farmers creating a gap to meet the food needs of the fast-growing population in Nigeria. High population growth in turn puts pressure on available resources (especially the non-renewable) leading to unstructured exploitation of natural resources and portends danger to the global environment.
Grooming Leaders for Agriculture (GLA) through her interventions using several tested strategies over the years is working with volunteers in 2019 to focus on sustainable and climate smart agriculture knowledge and skills transfer. This has proved to contribute to development of manpower who are empowered for production of adequate and affordable food and other basic needs to support life for the present generation without jeopardizing the prospects of future generation. One of our strategies is mentoring and collaboration with volunteers who in turn adopt schools and facilitate school-based food security garden project through climate-smart and sustainable agricultural practices. The aim is to groom hearts and hands of young school children to become leaders who will drive the agricultural industry.
The first half of 2019 involved a series of schools projects where the school management led and participated in a school garden competition. Results showed that academic performance of students improved significantly leaving positive impact on the students. Students demonstrated better understanding of the concept of sustainability, food security, climate- smart and sustainable agriculture, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The students narrated during the spot-check that they have learnt to work and improve soil fertility, make beds that will support germination and growth of crops, plants seeds and manage crops in the garden. The students reported a multiplier effect of the training and empowerment through demonstration on the school gardens as a good number of them now have backyard gardens at home. Furthermore, the students are also confident that the project has prepared and equipped them with agripreneurial skills. Over the next couple of weeks, a 3 part series will unfold to share the stories of students and their respective GLA Volunteers …Stay Tuned