Portland, Oregon based crowdfunding platform, Grow Ahead, has announced the 2018 winners of their Agroecology and Regenerative Organic Agriculture Scholarship.
The Agroecology and Regenerative Organic Agriculture scholarship provides women farmers from Africa, Asia, or Latin America with the opportunity to gain further knowledge and experiences to support their farming communities through climate-resilient agroecology projects.
Grow Ahead raises resources for farmer-led agroecology projects by collaborating with local, organic, and fair trade farmer cooperatives around the world. The projects include farmer-to-farmer trainings, scholarships, climate change resilience loans, and tree plantings.
“According to the United Nations (U.N.), small-scale farmers feed 80 percent of the developing world’s population, and the majority of these farmers and farm workers are women,” says Ryan Zinn, Director of Grow Ahead. “[Women] have access [to] less resources than their male counterparts. Closing this gender gap can improve the lives of women and their families.”
The winners of the scholarship receive a US$2,500 crowdfunding campaign. The funds raised will be spent on further leadership development and agroecology, including the fields of agroforestry, biochar, compost, holistic management, conservation tillage, pasture cropping, silvopasture, permaculture, and other climate-resilient practices.”
The winners of the 2018 Agroecology and Regenerative Organic Agriculture Scholarship are:
- Elizabeth Mpofu, a regional leader and a member of the Zimbabwe Small-Holder Organic Farmers Forum (ZIMSOFF), General Coordinator of La Via Campesina (LVC), a Board Member of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA), and U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Special Ambassador in Africa for Pulses (small grainsMpofu is seeking sponsorship to visit, and document, agroecology projects in Mutoko, Murowa, and Bikita in Zimbabwe. She will use the funds for her travel and to present her learnings through workshops with 100 women farmers from ZIMSOFF.
- Vasantha Kumari, manages the Amrita Bhoomi seed bank, coordinating their seeds program and overseeing their youth intern and training programs. She has worked with multiple community-based organizations, promoting agroecology amongst rural communities. Kumari will use the scholarship to develop skills in seed conservation and help launch the Amrita Bhoomi seed distribution program, a network of male and female farmers committed to saving and distributing seeds among farmers in India.