LEADERSHIP and development are brought together in IFAJ’s latest initiative — and the first 27 beneficiaries will be guests at the Federation’s congress in Canada next September.
In Guelph, Ontario, 14 top young journalists in the IFAJ Boot Camp will work alongside 13 colleagues from developing countries in IFAJ’s new Master Class, for two days.
This has been made possible by generous funding from sponsors Alltech and Pioneer Hi-Bred, and help from Agriterra.
Alltech has decided to expand its well established support for leadership in the IFAJ/Alltech Young Leaders annual awards, by funding the Boot Camp workshop.
Meanwhile, Agriterra has built on its involvement in the 2010 IFAJ congress, in an expansion of the Master Class for journalists from developing countries.
IFAJ will bring these programmes together in Canada, with Pioneer Hi-Bred joining as a Master Class sponsor.
Also joining the effort are national agricultural journalist guilds, with Belgium and the Netherlands already signed up to each fund a developing country journalist at the congress.
At this stage of the selection process, it is expected by organisers that master class participants are likely to come from Burkina Faso, Guinea, China, India, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay, Peru, Armenia, Congo, and Madagascar. Participants are selected based on a set of criteria such as their work for (or positive attitude towards) organised small holders in their country, and the absence of any ties with the government.
José van Gelder of Agriterra says, ” The Master Class will contribute in its very own and unique way to Millennium Development Goal 1, reducing hunger and poverty. Agricultural journalists are a powerful means to inform farmers on all kinds of issues that help them in their day-to-day work. In developing countries, most people live and work in rural areas.
These people can contribute significantly to the development of their country, but to do so, they have to be informed. On the other hand, journalists from developed countries can learn about the hunger and poverty issues, and help in creating awareness amongst their own readers and viewers.
Already, the 2010 Master Class is reaping dividends, according to José, with one of the graduates, Jean Baptiste Musabyimana, following up by organising a workshop in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and planning to set up a guild for agri-journalists there.
The 27 Master Class and Boot Camp participants in 2011 will take part together in intensive capacity and leadership development in Canada, as well as learning about Canadian and global agriculture, alongside other Congress participants. Go to www.ifaj.org for more upcoming information on the Boot Camp (the application deadline will be in April) and Master Class.
Alltech is a worldwide leader in animal nutrition, health and performance.
Pioneer Hi-Bred is a US producer of hybrid seeds for agriculture.
Agriterra is an agri-development NGO founded by the Dutch farmers association.