Monday, January 30, 2012

Farmers of the Future Takes Root

This week was a major milestone in the Farmers of the Future project, as we began training the teachers from the three pilot schools. Farmers of the Future, the brainchild of Professor Dov Pasternak, which Eliminate Poverty Now and Pencils for Kids is bringing to fruition, helps to sow the seeds of Africa's green revolution by teaching modern agricultural practice to primary school children.
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It took a while to get to this point. We waited until we had the approval and support of the National
Ministry of Education in Niger. We were also
delayed because the initial contractor responsible for converting technical material into age appropriate educational booklets could not complete the job.

But it was worth the wait: we now have the full and enthusiastic support of the Nigerien National Ministry of Education, and our material is being produced by pedagogues from the Ministry, which should serve us well in the long run.

Photos Formation 1 eme jour 157

The seven subjects to be covered are Water
Management; Environment; Growing Vegetables; Growing Cowpeas (a nutritious legume); Tree
Nurseries; Raising Animals; and Small Business.

The training is being carried out by technical agricultural experts, overseen by the venerable Saidou Abdoussalam (who splits his time between Farmers of the Future and his other ICRISAT  duties). Hamani Djibo,the administrator of all our projects in Niger, and founder of ONG LIBO, organized the meeting with his usual calm and cheerful proficiency. The participants included teachers, school administrators and local community leaders.

At the end of the second day, Hamani reported

Hi John,
The teachers are very happy and today at the end of the training the Educational Inspector of the Kollo region and the representative of the Ministry of Education encouraged them to enjoy their work and their students. You are going to receive a full report. It was wonderful! Thank you.

For more photos, please go to the Eliminate Poverty Now flickr site.