What was the “YAP” project all about, again?
In the run-up to the upcoming #GCARD3 global event, we announced “YAP”, the Youth Agripreneurs Project. “YAP” is a pilot project targeting young agricultural entrepreneurs or “agripreneurs” by GFAR (the Global Forum on Agricultural Research), CGIAR (the Global Agricultural Research Partnership) and YPARD (the Young Professionals for Agricultural Development).
Within “YAP” we want to encourage young agripreneurs from all over the world, to think about their projects and formulate their ideas in a concrete proposal. We also wanted to use our blog, as a platform where these entrepreneurs could showcase their projects, while encouraging feedback on their proposals through the comments on each proposal’s blogpost.
In addition, we wanted to show, to a wider audience, how many creative, inspiring and concrete ideas these young people had. Through the online voting process – determining the first selection -, we wanted to inspire young people to “just come out” with their ideas, and use the power of social media to network and advocate for their projects, now and in the future.
428 “YAP” entries were MANY more than we initially anticipated. Also the way the online public picked up, and commented on these proposals was overwhelming: Over 116,000 people from all over the world read the proposals, and posted over 60,000 comments.
The selection process
A reminder how we set up the selection process:
The first selection went through public voting: This pre-selection was based on the appreciation of each entry by the online public, based on the formula:
First selection score = (5 * #comments) + (2 * #likes) + (#views)
In view of the large amount of “YAP” proposals, the jury took on the task to go over 30 pre-selected proposals, instead of the original planned “20”.
Not an easy task, knowing the many inspiring and creative projects we received!
The scoring process went as follows:
- Each jury member attributed a score from 1 to 9 to each entry (1 is poor, 9 is excellent). This was “a score”, not “a ranking”, so they could allocate e.g. a “6” to as many as they wanted.
- If a jury member felt they could not judge an entry (e.g. because they work with the entrepeneur or were connected to him/her, or they did not speak the language of the entry), they marked it as “F” – (“Forfait”). When we tallied the scores, “F” scores were replaced with an average from the scores for that entry from all other jury members.
The instructions to the jury were to score each of the pre-selected entries, using the following qualifiers:
- Originality of the proposal, and how “complete” their entry was (e.g budget, measurable output and success factors), and how well it was written in bringing “their message/proposal”.
- Feasibility: is this proposal and its budget realistic?
- Socio-economic impact: everyone can submit a project to raise chickens and make money for themselves, but we want projects that have a positive impact on the community these people are working on, benefitting more than just those who submitted their project.
- Sustainability: can this project sustain itself in the longer term. And… is this project eco-sustainable in the longer term (e.g. we can not feed the people by wrecking the world).
- How constructive and substantial were the comments they got on their proposals: were most comments just “good job” or were there really substantial conversations initiated??
- In short, if, as a jury member, one had US$5,000, what is the likelihood they would fund for each entry?
We then tallied the scores from each jury member, for each entry, and came to a total score for each, determining the finalists.
Note: One donor wanted to stimulate agripreneurs in the Caribbean, specifically in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, Belize, Guyana, Barbados, St. Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada (while all other Caribbean entries also competed in the “global selection”).
So we allocated an “Additional Prize for Caribbean entrepreneurs”. Two jury members, working with entrepreneurs in that region, rated all of the YAP entries coming from these countries, for this special prize, using the same instructions as for those in the “global” selection.
Which entries passed the pre-selection?
These were the 30 entries, which scored the highest in the pre-selection (the public voting) and went to the jury (in random order):
- YAP Proposal #56: Youth Agriculture Garden (Sanjay Kafle, Nepal)
- YAP Proposal #11: Mushroom Farming (Melano Dadalauri, Georgia)
- YAP proposal #68: Social media as an agricultural extension tool (Devesh Thakur, India)
- YAP Proposal #173: Changing lives one hen at a time (James Makini, Kenya)
- YAP Proposal #197: EduMala Mentoring Program (Dinesh Panday, Nepal)
- YAP Proposal #9: Kuku Kienyeji Farm (Jeremy Riro, Kenya)
- YAP proposal #122: Planting strawberry in Greenhouse (Fisnik Shaqiri, Kosovo)
- YAP Proposal #35: Mushroom Farming (Serem Sila, Kenya)
- YAP Proposal #31: Climate Smart Model Farm (Adnan Arshad, Pakistan)
- YAP Proposal #165: Indigenous herbs and organic farming (Pranav Kumar, India)
- YAP proposal #185: Teaching people to grow catfish (Aduragba Titilayomi Adeoluwa, Nigeria)
- YAP proposal #130: Self-help Business Model in Harmony with Nature (Jony Girma, Ethiopia)
- YAP Proposal #207: Moringa Oleifera Mega Farm Project (Miri Nanyak Nigeria)
- YAP proposal #187: Creating Wealth Through Poultry-Keeping (Oluwadara David Oyebanjo, Nigeria)
- YAP proposal #62: Mechanical pest removal (Josine Macaspac, Philippines)
- YAP Proposal #84 Rejuvenating Declining Citrus Orchard (Madan Poudel, Nepal)
- YAP proposal #124: Vegetable Farming for Improved Production Economy (VeFIPE) (Mohamed Malembo, Tanzania)
- YAP proposal #148: Using Software to Measure Dairy Success in Real-time (Gidraph Mwangi, Kenya)
- YAP proposal #337: Quality Onion Seed Production (Elitumaini Rweyemam, Tanzania)
- YAP proposal #63: Providing affordable food (Richard Chinedu Agetu, Nigeria)
- YAP Proposal #24: Post-Harvest Fruit Bagging (Amol Shirgire, India)
- YAP proposal #229: Living La Vida Verde (Ignacio Vildósola Barceló, Spain)
- YAP Proposal #37: The African Desert Greenhouse (Lillian Beauttah, Kenya)
- YAP Proposal #27: Improved Goat Farming (Sunil Shrestha, Nepal)
- YAP Proposal #21: Growing Golden Grains (Alabi Taiwo Jacob, Nigeria)
- YAP proposal #160: Green Ago Mechanization (Abrhame Endrias, Ethiopia)
- YAP Proposal #32: Integrated Farming of Tomato Trees and Banana (Hubert Hirwa, Rwanda)
- YAP Proposal #7: Climate Resilient Indian Cattle (Nikki Pilania Chaudhary, India)
- YAP proposal #132: School Farms Programme (Alfred Godwin Adjabeng, Ghana)
- YAP Proposal #244: Smart Krishi mobile app (Anil Regmi, Nepal)
Who are the finalists?
The jury selected the following as the finalists for the “YAP” project:
YAP Proposal #7: Climate Resilient Indian Cattle (Nikki Pilania Chaudhary, India) (Funded by a private donor)
YAP Proposal #37: The African Desert Greenhouse (Lillian Beauttah, Kenya) (Funded by Agropolis Fondation)
YAP Proposal #244: Smart Krishi mobile app (Anil Regmi, Nepal) (Funded by IFAD)
YAP proposal #62: Mechanical pest removal (Josine Macaspac, Philippines) (Funded by Agropolis Fondation)
The “Additional Prize for the Caribbean agripreneurs” went to:
YAP proposal #332: From Farm To Face: the Journey to Natural Skin Care (Kellyann Allicott, Barbados) (Funded by FAO Caribbean region)
A heartfelt congratulations to these finalists!
What do we provide to these finalists?
The agripreneurs selected as the finalists will get a US$5,000 seed fund to facilitate the startup of their project, spread over the period of one year.
During one year, we will mentor these young agripreneurs within their project, linking them with seasoned researchers and practitioners, by integrating them in the YPARD (Young Professionals for Agricultural Development) mentoring program.
We will also train them on new ways to advocate and network using innovative communication and networking tools.
The finalists will be invited to attend the #GCARD3 global event in Johannesburg, where they will receive their first induction training and have the opportunity to network with agricultural specialists from all over the world.
What more can we do to stimulate these young agripreneurs?
One of the main challenges we faced with “YAP”, is the unexpected high amount, and very high quality (and variety) of projects we received. While, unfortunately, only a few can be selected as finalist now, we will do our best to follow-up on the submitted proposals, in the months to come. We will do our utmost best to assist the agripreneurs in various ways, which we still need to explore.
These young agripreneurs deserve our support. And this is not just “us” being the organizers of the project, but “us”, the global community. We do need to step up our support, to encourage, stimulate and enable these young agriculturalists and entrepreneurs. They truly are the future of the world’s agriculture and our strive to provide food security for all, in a sustainable manner. We will, once again, do our best to work with the global community to further extend our support to youth working in agriculture.
If you are interested in sponsoring this project, please check out the details.
A big “Thank you” again to all youth who submitted their project, to the online public in responding with so many comments, to our donors, the jury, and all those involved in the project, who worked very long hours to process and publish the proposals.
“YAP” is a joint pilot project by GFAR, CGIAR and YPARD, in the run-up to the upcoming #GCARD3 global event. Follow the progress of this event via #GCARD3 on Twitter, the GFAR blog, the GFAR website and the CGIAR website.
Picture courtesy CCAFS