CTA – ARDYIS Project

Special Blog – Youth In Agriculture Blog Competition

Submit your individual or institutional blog and win up to 3000 Euros!

YoBloCo poster_AW (English)_Web versionThe Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA), in collaboration with FARA, Yam-Pukri, CAFAN, AYF, ANAFE, SPC/PAFPNET and e-Agriculture is pleased to launch the 2nd Edition of the Youth in Agriculture Blog Competition (YoBloCo Awards).

This contest is organised in the framework of the ARDYIS project, which aims to raise youth awareness and improve their capacity on agricultural and rural development issues in ACP countries using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).

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Best ACP young agri-bloggers awarded in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The prize giving ceremony for the Youth in Agriculture Blog Competition (YoBloCo Awards) was held on 22 May 2012, recognizing three young bloggers and three organizations that write about agriculture, rural development and youth. The event took place at the Emperors Palace, in Johannesburg, South Africa, during the gala dinner of the Third African Chapter of the International Association of Agricultural Information Specialists (IAALD).

The winners were awarded by CTA with cash prizes of up to 1,500 Euros for individual bloggers and 3,000 Euros for winning organizations and were sponsored to attend the IAALD conference, which focused on e-agriculture lessons and perspectives in Africa, along with runners-up from the blog competition. Awarded bloggers also received a trophy and a certificate from the hands of representatives of national and international institutions, including the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), the Secretariat of Pacific Community (SPC) and others. The prize giving ceremony was hosted by Peter Ballantyne, head of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and member of the YoBloCo Awards’ jury. Winners had the possibility to spend a few words about their experience as blogger and participant of the competition, and most of them expressed the intention to reinvest the prize in agricultural-related activities, as individual practitioners or for their organizations.

The winners stood out from a selection of more than 90 blogs, divided into an individual category (open to young bloggers) and an institutional category (open to agricultural and rural development organizations). Blogs first underwent a public evaluation process, in which they were voted and commented through the internet by about 3,000 people, and then a final evaluation performed by a jury composed of experts in ICT, agriculture and rural development.

After food and drinks, participants enjoyed an evening of live music and dance with a local band.

ARDYIS activities at IAALD Africa 2012

On the occasion of the 2012 Conference of the African Chapter of the International Association of Agricultural Information Specialists (IAALD) the ARDYIS project implemented by CTA will organize a series of activities, including the prize giving ceremony of the YoBloCo Awards and a workshop:

  • 20 May: One day consultative meeting on: “Using ICT to strengthen youth opportunities in agriculture and rural areas”;  impacts and lessons learned from the YoBloCo Awards as well as perspectives of participants and partners on ARDYIS activities will be discussed during that workshop;
  • 22 May: Presentation of a paper on “Blogging to enhance agriculture: results and findings of the Youth in Agriculture Blog Competition (YoBloCo Awards)”, during the IAALD Conference; (Ken Lohento and Giorgio Bellinzas)
  • 22 May: Prize giving ceremony of the  YoBloCo Awards, during the Gala Dinner of the IAALD Conference
  • 23 May: Organization of the second meeting of the Advisory Committee of the ARDYIS project.
  • 23 May: IAALD Panel Discussion on  e-Agriculture in Africa: Prospects, Challenges and Lessons Learned (Ken Lohento, panelist).

Some of these events are pre or post-conference events and other are part of the official conference activities, in partnership with IAALD Africa 2012 organizers.

About 30 participants will be taking part in ARDYIS specific activities. These include young bloggers from ACP countries (winners and runners-up of YoBloCo Awards, from the individual or institutional category), ARDYIS Project’s Advisory Committee members, representatives of CTA and of other organizations interested in youth, ICT and agriculture.

Participants are nationals of the following countries : Barbados (Caribbean), Belgium (EU), Benin (West Africa), Burkina Faso (West Africa), Cameroon (Central Africa), DR Congo (Central Africa), Fiji (Pacific), Ghana (West Africa), Italy (EU), Kenya (East Africa), Madagascar (East Africa), Mauritius (East Africa), South Africa (Southern Africa), Trinidad and Tobago (Caribbean), Uganda (East Africa), United Kingdom (EU) and Zimbabwe (Southern Africa).

Apart from ARDYIS Advisory Committee members’ institutions, organizations present include: Organization of the African Youth (OAY), FAO, ICT4D Jamaica, SangoNet, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), GIC Bellomar, Agribusiness Society of the University of West Indies, Farming and Technology for Africa (FTA), Shiriki Organization, Conseil Régional des Riziculteurs du Mono et du Couffo, Savannah Young Farmers Network (SYFN).

Participants sponsored by CTA (including YoBloCo winners and runners-up) are also sponsored to attend all sessions of the IAALD Africa 2012 Conference. The theme of the conference is “e-Agriculture for Improved Livelihoods and Food Security in Africa”. The conference will draw attendance from professionals and experts involved in the application of information and communication technology (ICT) in the rural domain, with a primary focus on agriculture (e-Agriculture), from both inside and outside Africa.

All these events will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 20 to 23 May 2012. The ARDYIS project was launched two years ago, in May 2010.

More information on the IAALD Africa 2012 Conference : http://www.iaald-africa.org/conferences/2012/

The YoBloCo Awards reward 14 ACP youth and institutions blogging on agriculture

The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) has just announced the winners of the first edition of the Youth in Agriculture Blog Competition (YoBloCo Awards).

Winners in the institutional category will receive each 3,000 Euros, while individual winners will receive up to 1,500 Euros. In addition, winners and runners-up selected (14 individuals and organizations) will attend an international conference, their blogs will be promoted and they will have the opportunity to be involved in other activities.

The blogs selected inform on initiatives and challenges of young people engaged in agriculture, on some current agricultural and rural development issues faced by stakeholders, and on how ICT can be used, or are being used, to enhance the sector. Through comments on their posts and interactions with the public, bloggers are raising more awareness on agricultural challenges and encouraging new youth interest in the ACP (Africa, Caribbean and Pacific countries).

The Youth in Agriculture Blog Competition (YoBloCo Awards) aims to bring into the limelight successes and challenges faced by youth engaged in agriculture, and to encourage the use of new ICTs by young farmers’ groups and organizations interested in the “youth in agriculture” question. It has offered the opportunity to highlight youth opportunities in agriculture and support the involvement young stakeholders.

The YoBloCo Awards have been an exciting experience for organizers and bloggers. Many bloggers and institutions are reporting increasing number of visitors, comments on their blogs and collaboration opportunities.

CTA and its partners warmly congratulate winners. They thank all the participants and the people (about 3,000) who voted and commented on blogs for making this pioneering experience a success! The competition was launched in July 2011 and 92 blogs were received. For the individual category, winners have been selected from 15 finalists identified following an online voting process. The public also commented on 22 institutional blogs.

The Awards have been organized in the framework of the ARDYIS Project, in collaboration with the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), African Network for Agriculture, Agroforestry and Natural Resources Education (ANAFE), Pacific Agriculture and Forestry Policy Network (PAFPNet), Caribbean farmers’ Network (CAFAN), Yam-Pukri association, African Youth Foundation (AYF).

For more information on winners, runners-up and their blogs please check this link http://ardyis.cta.int/en/activities/awards/item/136-results-yobloco/136-results-yobloco

YoBloCo Awards, individual category: Public evaluation results!

We are pleased to announce the names of the 15 finalists for the YoBloCo Awards – individual category, resulting from the voting process that took place from 5 to 31 December 2011. During this period, for the individual category, we received a total of 2214 votes, from 2080 people (voting for two blogs was possible) and more than 600 comments for the institutional category. This is a great outcome, and we would like to thank voters and everyone again for your support and your interest in this initiative.

In hierarchical order, here are the 15 finalists for the individual category:

  1. Sourou Hervé Appolinaire NANKPAN (http://www.agrobenin.com/) [FR]
  2. Hudson Wereh (http://wwwinfonet-biovision-wereh.blogspot.com/) [EN]
  3. Anne Matho Motsou (http://annematho.wordpress.com/) [FR]
  4. Grace Wanene (http://yagrein.blogspot.com/) [EN]
  5. Nawsheen Hosenally (http://nawsheenh.blogspot.com/) [EN]
  6. Gaston Kwa (http://cornerstonesfordevelopment.blogspot.com/) [EN]
  7. Hasina Patrick RAKOTOARISOA (http://www.agrijeune.freeiz.com/) [FR]
  8. Jean-paul Luesso Amuri (http://bujajeunesseagri.wordpress.com/) [FR]
  9. Inoussa TRAORE (http://traoreinoussa.blogspot.com/) [FR] [this blog is no more in competition]
  10. Itodo Samuel Anthony (http://poeticfarmer.wordpress.com/) [EN]
  11. Wend Yam Saturnin ZOETYANDE (http://blog.fasoferme.net/) [EN]
  12. Kwesi Acquah (http://landghana.blogspot.com/) [EN]
  13. Michael Boampong (http://www.michaelboampong.com/) [EN]
  14. Anthony Mwangi (http://youngagropreneur.wordpress.com/) [EN]
  15. Tarirai Mpofu (http://tarirai.blogspot.com/) [EN]
  16. Seyoum Ayalew (http://foodsecuritysm.wordpress.com/) [EN]

Our warmest congratulations to the finalists.

The votes were carefully checked by a committee composed of representatives of CTA and of ARDYIS project’s Advisory Committee (Yam-Pukri and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community).

The YoBloCo Awards goes on!

An independent jury composed of experts in agriculture and ICTs will now have the role of evaluating the quality of the finalists’ blogs  and decide who will be the winners, both for the individual and the institutional categories. In addition to the three winners to be selected, two runners-up will be awarded a special CTA recognition. Winners will be announced in March.

The competition has been very tight for every participant, but we are glad that recent feedback confirms how the competition really benefited most people. As a participant commented on the official YoBloCo blog:

“We observed a significant increase of visitors [to our blog], with more than 40% of incoming links from the website ardyis.cta.int”.

And another entrant to the institutional category also noted that:

“We had more than 465 visits to our blog after the beginning of the evaluation process, and most of them came from the ARDYIS website, Facebook and Google. This contest permitted to highlight our work on agriculture”. (…) We too have demands from students preparing their theses (…) and we have even been asked by someone to conduct a feasibility study for the implementation of an agro-pastoral project”.

Moreover, in the period of the votes (05 to 31 December 2011), the YoBloCo official blog (WordPress-based) and the individual vote page (Joomla-based) received 3774 and 1899 visits, respectively.

So we hope that even those who have not been selected as finalists have seen their blogs promoted more.

We are very encouraged by these facts and feedback and we look forward to receiving more.

Congratulations again to the finalists and to all who submitted their blogs, and good luck for the rest of the process.

The Youth in Agriculture Blog Competition (YoBloCo Awards) has been launched by the ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), in collaboration with FARA, Yam-Pukri, CAFAN, AYF, ANAFE, SPC/PAFPNET. It aims notably to bring into the limelight issues, successes and challenges faced by youth engaged in agriculture and to encourage the production of information and the use of new ICTs by young farmers’ groups and organizations interested in the “youth in agriculture” question. For more information please visit http://ardyis.cta.int/yobloco/.

YoBloCo Awards evaluation process – 3rd update!

To start with, we would like to wish you a happy and prosperous 2012!

The public evaluation process is closed since 31st December 2011. Votes received after that date (only a dozen) will not be considered. We received in total about 2100 votes for individual blogs and 580 comments on institutional blogs. From our website’s statistics, we also know that other people checked the blogs even if they didn’t vote. We didn’t expect such an interest when we were launching the public evaluation and are thus happy about that outcome. One the one hand, this is a confirmation that many people consider that agriculture as well as young people who are involved or interested in it deserve our strong support. On the other hand, it is also certainly an illustration that blogs submitted have been well appreciated by the public. Congratulations to all then!
Now we will start work on the selection of finalists (for the individual category). A committee composed of CTA and some ARDYIS project’s institutional partners will evaluate the votes and we should give you the results in about 2 weeks’ time.

YoBloCo Awards evaluation process – Second update…and some names!

The evaluation process for the YoBloCo Awards is running very good, and we are glad to inform you that we received about 1,500 votes the individual category and about 400 comments for the institutional category (Wednesday 21st December). Thank you for your interest and for supporting the youth!


For now, 5 blogs have clearly received many votes….We can even reveal the names of their authors…Wereh, Hosenally, Wanene, Matho Motsou, Nankpan (not in this particular order)…But the competition is still very open, we still have 9 days to go. We cannot be 100% sure if those 5 blogs will pass to the finals. As a matter of fact, it’s hard to tell what will be the top 15 blogs that will pass to the finals. It’s worth reminding here that, while evaluating finalists’ blogs, the final judges will follow their own judgement and will not select automatically finalists who will have received most votes. So far, all the blogs have been voted, but the competition is particularly intense for 12 blogs, which received between 20 and 40 votes.


We also appreciate all the interesting comments for the blogs in the institutional category. All the blogs in this category are doing their best to provide internet users with the most updated and relevant information about agriculture and rural development.


We would like to thank you again for your precious support to the YoBloCo Awards. The online evaluation process will be open until the end of December. If you have not yet voted, you can still vote for the individual blogs category here and leave your comment for the eligible institutional blogs here. Your vote is important so that we have fair and objective results as much as possible!


Enjoy the festive season and see you next year for the last update on the online evaluation process !

YoBloCo Awards evaluation process – First update!

The YoBloCo Awards online voting process (individual category) has been open for less than one week, and we already received more than 700 votes! This is great!

It looks like some blogs are particularly appreciated. In fact, the four most voted blogs received almost half of the total votes! Among these four blogs, two are in English and two are in French. Unfortunately, three blogs did not receive any votes so far.

The comments on institutional blogs are also well going ahead. We have received so far about 70 comments. We invite you to read them and also to comment on them or to respond to a point of view expressed if needed. Also in this category, not every blog has received comments so far.

The online evaluation process will run until the end of the month, so there is still time to catch up for all the less voted entries.

Very important: for a vote to be considered valid, all the required fields must be adequately filled in!

For people who want to vote:  while you can vote only once,  you can choose up to two blogs. If you decide to vote for someone you know, please also consider giving your second ballot to another best blog!
Thank you all for voting and spreading the news!