- Syngenta recognizes first anniversary of The Good Growth Plan, updating progress on six commitments for one world
- Announces The Good Growth Plan Grant Contest Grand Prize winner and runners-up
- Guest speakers highlighted needs of smallholder farmers in Africa
The Good Growth Plan comprises six measurable commitments to be met by the year 2020 to help address the global food security challenge. These include increasing farm productivity while boosting resource efficiency, rejuvenating ecosystems and strengthening rural communities. The Grant Contest winners, and a synopsis of their entries, include:
$20,000 Grand Prize Winner
“Participatory Farming Constraints (PFC) Diagnostic Tool,” submitted by The Mama Ada FoundationNo two farm fields are alike. Neither are the constraints, risks and challenges faced by smallholder farmers seeking to enhance their production and improve the quality of life for their families and communities. This project will pilot a new diagnostic process tool aimed at identifying the local barriers to empowering smallholders and improving rural communities. The pilot will be implemented by The Mama Ada Foundation in the upper Rift Valley of Kenya.
“ONE WORLD,” submitted by The University of FloridaONE WORLD is an innovative event connecting interdisciplinary students, faculty, university administration, industry leaders, community members, students and teachers along with policy-makers to collaboratively develop tangible solutions to address complex food security challenges. Using a discussion-based environment and break-out groups, ONE WORLD will generate innovations, networks and workgroups to advance projects and leadership focused on the six commitments of the Good Growth Plan.
“MEANSwell Program,” submitted by Heidi MorganThe MEANSwell pilot project in Texas will align state, national, county and private entities to more effectively provide food and training for children, low-income and other food-insecure populations. The project will tap volunteers and existing equipment resources to help turn overlooked farmland into sustainable sources of nutrition and job training.
“How to garden anywhere,” submitted by Tammy MarrsFood security can begin close to home with the right tools and training. This Kansas-based program creates a pilot for community-based vegetable gardening while helping train local students and residents in sustainable food production skills.
Now, the Grant Contest winners will have planning meetings with their Syngenta sponsors, create an action plan and identify additional resources necessary to bring their ideas to reality.
During the anniversary event, The Good Growth Plan Grant Contest grand prize winner Julie Keller, president of the Mama Ada Foundation, detailed her organization’s work in Kenya, which has a mission of providing economic empowerment opportunities for people living in Ada’s village of Ziwa and other locales in Kenya’s Rift Valley Province.
“I have found hope in corporate America through Syngenta and The Good Growth Plan in that it can affect social good in the world,” Keller said.
In a keynote address at the event, Roger Thurow, senior fellow on global agriculture and food policy for The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, detailed his work as a journalist covering famine in Africa. Through anecdotal storytelling, Thurow focused on one of the key commitments of The Good Growth Plan – empowering smallholder farmers.
“The Good Growth Plan’s emphasis on empowering smallholder farmers can help those farmers come out of the ‘hunger season,’” said Thurow, referencing the time between harvest and planting where many farmers go hungry because their crops are used to pay for necessities including medical care, with little left over to feed their families.
“How did we bring hunger with us into the 21st century?” he continued. “It’s quite an oxymoron – hungry farmers. These smallholder farmers have been so neglected in the past by the world as a whole, The Good Growth Plan can be quite impactful. These farmers are essential to helping feed and nourish the world. If they succeed, so might we all succeed in ensuring food security.”
Jill Wheeler, North American Head for Sustainable Productivity at Syngenta, outlined the specific efforts Syngenta has taken over the past year to begin implementing the plan. This includes outreach to a variety of stakeholders in an effort to be transparent, as well as gather feedback from them to ensure the success of The Good Growth Plan’s six commitments.
“2014 has been our benchmark year, so we can know for certain where we are and begin to measure progress in getting to where we want to be,” Wheeler said. “Events like this are crucial to our success because of the input we receive from all of you.”
For more information on the winners, please go to www.goodgrowthplangrant.com. To join the conversation on The Good Growth Plan on Twitter use #GoodGrowthPlan.
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