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(Paper presented at the IAALD Chapter Conference 2012, Johannesburg, South Africa, 21-23 May 2012)


Strengthening the involvement of youth in agriculture and addressing the challenges they face in embracing agricultural professional activities are pressing issues that determine the prosperity of that sector in Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) regions (CTA, 2011). The new Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can also play a pivotal role in that context (SPC-PAFPNet, 2010).

In the framework of its ARDYIS projects’ activities, the Technical Center for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) and some partners launched the Youth in Agriculture Blog Competition (YoBloCo Awards) in 2011. The main aims were to put into limelight successes and challenges faced by youth engaged in agriculture, encourage the use of new information technologies for information dissemination by young farmers and organizations interested in the “youth in agriculture” question. Opened in two categories (individual and institutional), the competition helped to identify 92 agricultural blogs from ACP countries, among which 52 were submitted to public evaluation through the internet. 

This paper presents the strong interest that the competition raised during the public evaluation of blogs, the contents of blogs, the challenges faced by young farmers, the emerging impacts for institutional and individual bloggers, as highlighted in the posts, in public comments and in a survey undertaken. It discusses the role blogging can play for youth and public awareness raising and advocacy on agricultural issues, as well as the challenges that online votes and blog competitions in development activities can pose.

Authors:  Ken Lohento and Giorgio Bellinzas, CTA ARDYIS project, May 2012 

Keywords: youth, acp, agriculture, blog, ict, cta, ardyis, rural areas.

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