***This is a sample post, as an example how to submit applications to the GLF Youth Ambassador program at the Global Landscapes Forum
My name is John Karima and I am passionate about the future of agriculture in Africa, and how youth are really the future for our continent.
I grew up on the farm of my grand parents. Even before I went to primary school, I tended the chickens and geese with my granny, and learned how to take care of them.
Throughout primary and secondary school, I continued to work on the farm in my free time. I remember I would rush back home from school, finish my homework, and then go and tend our livestock, and work on the farm. I weeded the maize crops, tended the live stock. I remember how I helped to build a small fish pond, which was not only an additional source of income for our family, but also a source of water for the irrigation of our fields.
I really took a passion in farming and how it provided a livelihood for our extended family, growing our own food, and how it gave an extra income for us.
Over the years, I learned to know the importance of diversifying our crops, the practical ways to irrigate our land, how to store crops with a minimum loss and how to link to the markets. I loved it all.
I might have found a career as a lawyer or doctor, but my passion clearly was in farming. Already from a young age, I learned how a successful farmer could be the cornerstone for our village, our community, our country, and our continent as a whole.
That’s why I studied agricultural sciences, and now “law” or “medecins” at the university in Dar-es-Salaam, and was thrilled to get a scholarship at the Wageningen University to study biosciences, where I am at now.
My passion is to contribute to food security in my country and in Africa. And already in high school, I could see how the internet, and online media could greatly contribute to that: On our farm, our main challenge was to get access to markets, to know the market prices, and to market our products. I learned to link to other farmers to know the market prices, where to find the best seeds at the best prices, and when we had problems with our live stock, that online group of friends, all linked via Facebook, as a place I could turn to for support.
For the future, I would love to learn how to use social media to future expand our reach. For instance, I see a great opportunity and market for organic grown fruits and vegetables in Europe, something I would like to concentrate our farm on. The problem is in linking our local community of organic farmers to that international market. Through the online media tools, I would love to learn how to link our local community of organic farmers to that market in Europe, so that our farmers can not only grow food for their own families, but have their produce marketed in an efficient way to the organic produce market in Europe.
Beyond this, I am passionate to link our local farmers’ community to a wider market, using social media tools. I still see farmers being limited to bring their produce to the nearest market, while they are not informed of the prices on any of the markets a bit further off. If I could only set up for instance a Facebook group, or a Whatsapp group so that we all know the going market prices within our larger region,.. This would greatly increase the revenue for our farmers, and keep youth interested in farming.
Name, nationality and age: John Karima, Tanzanian, 25
Country in which you currently live: Netherlands
Which organization you work for, or which university you study at: Wageningen University (Netherlands)
Your mother tongue: Swahili
Other languages you are fluent in: English, French
Image courtesy of the author