- Just 6% of European farm owners are younger than 35 years old (European Commission, 2013).
- With a youth unemployment rate of 49.6%, Spain tops the charts across all of Europe (Eurostat, 2015).
- Emitting 4,611 million tonnes of CO2-e, Europe ranks as the third-biggest GHG emitter in the world (European Commission, 2015).
Why not change this?
Why not take action?
Why not be green?
Why not try to change the world?
We are four friends, studying Agricultural Engineering, and strongly bound by the same drive to establish our project that will redefine the meaning of agriculture in such a way that it will inspire youth to get active in the sector! We want to develop self-sustaining agroecological food production systems in the vicinity of our beloved city: Madrid.
Agroecological food production systems aim to reduce their impact on the environment rather than focussing on mainly yield.
These systems have a reduced GHG emission and higher biodiversity, on the one hand, and on the other hand, a higher resilience against climate change and other natural impacts compared to conventional systems. They also deal with pests, diseases and soil degradation problems in a more natural way.
Talking about making agriculture sustainable: these agroecosystems are key to take into account. In our project we want to bridge the gap between agriculture and city life and bring these worlds—that are now so far apart—more closely together.
We will do this by creating a two-way interaction between these two worlds: first, the food produced by the agroecosystems will supply families in Madrid, but these families won’t only consume this food. No, they will go back to the field where it has been produced and will also actively take part in interactive training sessions to increase their awareness around the production of food.
Our projects resides on four pillars that form the key to success:
1. Producing vegetables by establishing agroecological food production systems of which the production process will, as much as possible, resemble natural ecosystems.
2. Re-using all crop residues: we will use the crop residues will for composting and as feed for our own livestock.
3. Direct delivery from farm to home and by this creating a bridge between agroecology and urban areas and inform the inhabitants of the city on the process of food production.
4. Raise awareness in society, especially among the younger generation, to teach them about sustainable agriculture and encourage them to get active themselves to develop similar production fields like ours.
As often happens in life, we are very enthusiastic and have strong drive to realize this dream but unfortunately we’re lack funds. What we need would be this little push to realize our idea. Financial assistance would be used for:
1. Development of a mobile app and website for the distribution our products.
2. Arrange the logistics and delivery of the vegetables from our farm situated in the outskirts of Madrid (36 km northwest).
3. Certification process of organic products.
4. Tools for training workshops.
Last, we want to say that all four of us are really excited to carry on with this project and finally be able to apply the theoretical knowledge acquired during five years of university.
And we want to do our share to combat the difficult combination of a decreasing interest of Spanish youth towards work in the agricultural sector, combined with climate change that will strongly effect the conventional production systems of Spain.
The combination of attracting youth into agriculture and agroecology can form the key for the future of Spanish food production!
‘La naturaleza no es una herencia de nuestros padres, sino un préstamo de nuestros hijos.’ (Quechua proverb)
Luis Atanes Fernández. 24 años. Ingeniero Agrónomo. Ingeniería Rural. Agroecológo en Prácticas.
Javier Castaño Mirón. 24 años. Ingeniero Agrónomo. Economía Agraria. Greener de Corazón.
Borja Jarque Gómez. 24 años. Ingeniero Agrónomo. Industrias Agroalimentarias. El Agrosteve Jobs.
Nacho Vildósola Barceló. 24 años. Grado en Ingeniería Alimentaria. Alquimista de lo Natural.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Ignacio Vildósola Barceló (Spain) – ignacio.vildosola.barcelo(at)gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar are at the discretion of the author only.
This post is published as proposal #229 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 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.