Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Expanding the Community Reach of Farmers of Future

School Directors and teachers from the 3 schools piloting the FOF program,
along with the FOF Leadership Team

The goal of Farmers of the Future is to change the national mindset towards farming. Farming does not have to simply be "what poor people do;" it can also be a very good business and source of income.

Cover of an FOF teaching pamphlet
The FOF program begins by teaching new concepts at the primary school level where young minds are open to new ideas. But these are young children between the ages of 10 and 13. They are still many years away from putting these ideas into practice, so we want to use the school program as a vehicle to involve the parents of students in these new ideas. This is taking shape in several ways. First, 15-20 mothers of students at each school will participate in income generating activities, like tree nurseries and vegetable gardens, where they benefit from the agricultural technicians who are already visiting the schools. Second, students will have homework projects that take what they learn at school into the home, where hopefully the ideas will be shared. And third, parents will visit the schools once or twice a year. During these visits, students will conduct “show-and-tells” for their parents to showcase what they’ve learned.
Amadou Madougou

Additionally, we need to develop ways for students who become interested in farming as a business to further pursue their interests beyond primary school. This may involve programs at the secondary school level, vocational training options and a “post-graduate” garden option for teenagers who won’t continue with school, but want to further their knowledge and skills in a true, for-profit farming operation.

Amadou Madougou signing over 6 acres of land
to LIBO to use as a FOF post-graduate garden.

Amadou Madougou is a former mayor of Libore, and a staunch FOF supporter, who has served twice as the national Minister of Education, and once as Minister of the Interior. We are so pleased that he has agreed to donate 6 acres of his land for a “post-graduate” garden and has a fellow village leader who is considering making a similar size parcel available.

Our hope is that by targeting programs for primary school children, teenagers and adults, the impact on attitudes will be synergistic and will accelerate the change in mindset towards agriculture.

This is the site for the first FOF post-graduate garden.
With irrigation, this land can become a large and lucrative vegetable garden.


  1. This is such great news! Glad to hear it's starting off so well and getting such strong support. Debbie Leon

    1. Hi, Debbie -
      We couldn't do it without amazing volunteers like you!


  2. Another fabulous comment from Yitzchak Abt, reposted with his permission:

    "You are sowing the seeds of real change from subsistence to diversified farming.
    This is the key to reduce poverty in rural areas of Africa.
    Needless to say, on these and other aspects I am in close contact with Dov.
    With all best greetings for the New Year.
    Yitzchak Abt"

  3. Dear Yitzchak - We have very high hopes for this project. Thank you as always for your advice and encouragement.


  4. Here's a lovely comment passed on from our email. We so appreciate hearing from good friends like Edith:

    You have a great blog and it is wonderful to see how Farmers of the Future is expanding. John's trip was a big success.