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Teaching an old world new tricks


An agriculture summit for 18-25 year olds has generated some exciting new ideas to tackle major global problems.

The Youth Ag-Summit, held in the Belgian capital last week, welcomed over 100 young minds from 49 countries. Working in groups of 10 during the week-long programme, the young innovators developed ideas to advance key aspects of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Gender Equality, Quality Education, and Responsible Consumption and Production.

Three of the teams selected by a panel of judges will receive funding from Bayer, which organises the event. The €10,000 grand prize went to a group called AGRIKUA – kua is Swahili for grow. Aligned with SDG 5 – achieving Gender Equality – the team want to create an online platform where Kenyan women can easily access opportunities in the agriculture industry. Along with the money, AGRIKUA will receive special training to help them make the idea a reality.

Second spot – and €5,000 – went to Seeds of Change to support its plans to use young agricultural champions to contribute to SDG 4: Quality Education by raising awareness of the industry in schools. And to promote SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, Imperfect Picks received €3,000 for its cartoon campaign encouraging youngsters to embrace ugly looking fruits- as long as the quality is good, rather than throwing them out.

“We were blown away by the level of creativity, intelligence, and diligence shown by each of the delegate groups in the final projects they presented. Bayer is thrilled to be funding three of these for future development, but we are convinced that all of this year’s Youth Ag-Summit delegates will continue to champion and contribute to a more sustainable food system,” said Fleur Wilkins, Head of Strategic Messaging and Executive Communications for Bayer Crop Science and member of the jury.

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