Being outrageous to be inspirational are the perfect words to use to introduce ourselves and our reality. My name is Alpha Sennon, I am a 28 year old “Farmerpreneur” from Trinidad and Tobago currently pursuing an MPHIL degree at the University of the West Indies in Agricultural Extension with training in Agricultural Entrepreneurship and Supply Chain Management. I was able to successfully found this organization entitled WHYFARM and guess what – I’m also a farmer.
Mr Luke Smith is 26 and the AgriEduTainment & Information Communication Technology Officer. He is the man behind the scenes working his magic with photography & videography of which he has been acknowledged locally & regionally. He has vast experience in social media with a background in agribusiness and passionate about making a positive change for future generations.
Lets cut to the chase of Why farm?
WHYFARM is a not-for-profit organization that was developed to help young men and women capitalize on the opportunities and overcome the challenges in the agriculture industry by becoming stronger leaders and more dynamic voices in their local communities. WHYFARM was developed to re-brand young existing farmers and create new ones for the food challenges faced of the 21st century. We start by answering the question “Why farm?” to the youth, through innovative projects while simultaneously helping them farm.
Our mission is to help young farmers farm more efficiently and effectively in order to create the next generation of farmers and farmerpreneurs to develop bold, disruptive innovations that help solve the greatest challenge facing our collective future: food security.
WHYFARM’s Motto is “Growing Future Feeders from the Ground up”
AgriVenture through WHYFARM
We seek to foster a commitment to agricultural development that promotes a sense of hope for the future in a sustainable and food secure economy. Our primary objective is to develop a new generation of food producers by using innovative agricultural educational entertainment strategies to capture the youth, starting with their thought process to influence their decision making with regards to food security.
Educating the Future in the present: AgriEduTainment
WHYFARM believes we have found the new way of reaching out to potential future feeders through AGRI-EDUtainment – a combination of agriculture education and entertainment utilizing the arts and digital tools. Thus we have created a farming superhero…drumrolls please….entitled “AGRIman”
The story must be told of an adventure that encourages youth in agriculture .Starting with a main character whose responsibility is to be the world’s food saviour. Guess what? He happens to be a farmer branded as the world’s most powerful superhero food provider! Developed to combat and destroy the wicked food imposter and show children why they should adopt the culture of agriculture.To ensure they avert drought and starvation in the future, initiating, tilling, ploughing, moulding, nurturing, and growing a farmer
To ensure the sustainAGRIlty of this initiative we started “AGRIman Fan Club” for kids to ensure that there is continuity of practical, fun and creative activities to engage the members in Agri-EduTainment. Our aspirations are to eventually have this adventure as a cartoon series to air live on television globally.
Let’s be real
The main concern remains that the average age of the farmers in the Caribbean is above 45 years and many are actually over 60 years (Greene 2010). In a study entitled Youth in Agriculture- Challenges and Opportunities, stated that the average age of farmers in the Caribbean is 55 years and the life expectancy in the region averages about 65 to 70 years ( Lalji 2009).
By 2050, the population is expected to be 9 billion people. Therefore in the next 35 years, 5 to 10 year olds will be 40 to 46 years of age. They are the ones that will be responsible for producing our food. For the sake of food security, focus should be on youths starting as early as three. For there to be any revolution and evolution of this culture of agriculture to be rebranded, it is important to note that the formative years of conditioning is birth to twelve.
We need to condition the minds of generation next to take this culture to the hands of the youth. Therefore there must be new approaches to ensure that they (children) eventually take up this task in order to ensure food security occurs and hunger is eliminated.
Making it Happen
Let’s move with speed, fast like the lightning not slow like the thunder otherwise people will only hear us and not see us. We have certainly been breaking the sound barriers and lighting up the minds of both young and old. Our seed has borne fruit as we have successfully launched our startup organization “WHYFARM” in the island of Tobago at last years’ Tobago World Food Day celebrations. We have since been travelling to schools throughout Trinidad and Tobago.
Having successfully published our first AGRIman Adventures comic book series, we have introduced this into other countries including Grenada, Barbados and about to travel to Switzerland. WHYFARM has already partnered with reputable regional organizations like the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development institute (CARDI) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), and is in partnerships talks with International Association of Students in Agriculture (IAAS).
WHYFARM have completed the motion comic series of AGRIMAN Adventures and is about to release at schools and AGRIevents. We have been receiving overwhelming requests globally for AGRIMAN to attend events and introduce the message of WHYFARM in their local communities.
So What’s next?
The adventure has just begun, the next step to have WHYFARM AND AGRIMAN Adventures on main stream. We intend to develop AGRIMAN as a cartoon on global television, also having products such as toys, bags, clothing etc. An animator has already began drafting the cartoon characters and is expected to release an advertisement by middle April 16, however we expect to get the cartoon on stream at least in the Caribbean by September,16.
Designing and Publishing of future Agriman Adventure comic book series 2 and 3- $1000USD
Equipment to aid in the creation of audio/ visual content to promote Agriedutianment- $1500USD
Travel fee to launch WhyFarm and AgriMan in other caribbean islands-$1000USD
Development of school/community agriculture based programme – $500USD
The remainig 1000USD will be used to have an Agriman cartoon on global television, also having products such as toys, bags, clothing etc.
An animator has already began drafting the cartoon characters and is expected to release an advertisement by middle April 16, however we expect to get the cartoon on stream at least in the Caribbean by September,16.
“The world has seen a Spiderman, a Superman and Batman, where is our farming superhero? help the world see the newly invented AGRIMAN”
Blogpost and picture submitted by Alpha Sennon (Trinidad and Tobago) – whyfarmit[at]gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
This post is published as proposal #95 of “YAP” – our “Youth Agripreneur Project”.
The first selection of the winners will be based on the number of comments, likes and views each proposal gets.
As a reader, you can support this speaker’s entry:
- Leave a comment (question, suggestion,..) on this project in the comment field at the bottom of this page
- Support the post by clicking the “Like” button below (only possible for those with a WordPress.com account)
- Spread this post via your social media channels, using the hashtag: #GCARD3
Have a look at the other “YAP” proposals too!
As a donor, support young agripreneurs and sponsor this unique project. Check out the side column for our current sponsors.
“YAP” is part of the #GCARD3 process, the third Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development.