December 2012 Trip to Niger – Official Launch of the Farmers of the Future program in three schools!

Robin, Chef du Canton and Amadou Madougou, former Mayor and former Minister of Education at the FOF launch ceremony

Had a terrific trip to Niger last week, primarily to officially launch our Farmers of the Future program.  I was joined by John Craig from Eliminate Poverty Now, and Dov Pasternak, the renowned agricultural scientist who created this program.  Although we have been working on this program for the past two years, it was time to officially launch it in public. 400 people showed up at Gueriguinde Zarma, the village where one of the three sites is located. The idea of the program is to teach primary level children in grades 4-6 how to view agricultural as a business and not merely as a way to subsist. This past year we have built full curriculum in seven subjects, and trained the teachers, working alongside the Ministry of Education officials. The hope is to pilot this program for the next two years and monitor and evaluate it to see if it accomplishes the goals we have in changing the mindset of the younger generation from subsistence agriculture to market oriented agriculture. The Minister of Livestock and Minister of Education participated at the launch ceremony along with a member of the Prime Minister’s cabinet. It was well organized and beautifully done.

Farmers of the Future young girls sing and dance at the ceremony!

FOF – sign for the official launching ceremony

Young children from Bangou Banda school in Libore attend the ceremony!

Children at the launching ceremony for the Farmers program

Farmers of the Future launch – young girl gives grafting demonstration to Ministers of Education and Livestock

Invited guests and officials visit the garden and see the drip irrigation

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