The story of a dream, a nightmare and a wish…
Video: Social media can be more than “a means”. It can be “a purpose” too.
by Enrica Porcari, GCARD2 Communications coordinator
As we planned communication activities for GCARD2, we wanted more than ‘ tell a story’. We wanted to advocate the cause of agriculture, we wanted to include people in the process, before, during, after, and we dreamed of building capacities along the way.
We chose a new way of communicating. Blending traditional and social media and putting young people at the center. Already back in 2010, with colleagues from GFAR, we dreamed about using GCARD as a vehicle to demonstrate the enthusiasm of young researchers and extension agents alike, of students and young graduates, … We dreamed about creating a platform where the youth could have a voice to shape the future they will be living in, where they could demonstrate their work, we wanted to give them “their space on the stage”, and at the same time enrich the GCARD process as a whole.
At GCARD2, we made this dream come true…
by Peter Casier, GCARD2 Social Media coordinator
In 2011, I stood in a field, talking to Kumal, a farmer in Bihar, India. With a sad look in his eyes, he said: “I went to school, but could not find a job, so now, I am just farming my land. I hope for my children to have a better future, to get a job in the city, in construction, or as a cleaner or a desk clerk. Anything, really, except doing as I had to do: farm the land.”
I realized none of the farmers I interviewed in Africa and Asia, actually saw agriculture as a viable future for their children.
This became my nightmare: The biggest challenges “to feed the world” in the near future might not only be solved by helping farmers adapt to shifting weather patterns, not only by breeding drought tolerant maize varieties or flood-prone rice. The biggest challenge for a food-secure world might not only lay in promoting more nutrient-rich crops, drop irrigation and micro-fertilizing… My nightmare was: soon, we might have no farmers left. If farming, agriculture research, extension services are no longer seen as a viable professional future for our kids, then “who will grow the crops that will feed the world”?
“Making agriculture cool again”, could very well be one of the biggest opportunities we have. GCARD2, we found one way to show how cool agriculture really is and engage the youth!
by Michael Hoevel and Liz Sharma, GCARD2 Traditional Media coordinators
For years now, we have been working with clients in the agricultural sector. As professional media people, we have seen how the mainstream media got interested again in issues like food security, agricultural research, “how to grow more food without wrecking the planet”. For us, that made GCARD2 an ideal platform to approach the press, showcasing the excellent work done on agricultural development and research. And the press was eager to learn more.
But our wish for our media outreach at GCARD2, was from the beginning: how to blend the “traditional media” like newspapers, TV, radio and magazines more with the social media outreach. And to do so, we wished from the start we had good sources for “stories from the ground”. Our group of young agricultural professionals provided those sources..
In GCARD2, one of our wishes came true.