Youth bloggers who cover agriculture and young farmers are invited to participate in a competition aimed at highlighting the challenges youth face in agriculture in rural and urban areas. The competition is open to students in agricultural training courses, young farmers, journalists or other young people as well as youth farmers organizations or organizations interested in Agriculture. Contestants must be from West Africa, Central Africa, Southern Africa, East Africa, Pacific and Caribbean.
The competition is organized by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA), in collaboration with FARA, Yam-Pukri, CAFAN, AYF, ANAFE, SPC/PAFPNET. This contest was launched in the framework of the ARDYIS initiative which aims to raise youth awareness and improve their capacity on agricultural and rural development issues in ACP countries using  Information Technology.
Competition Aims
This blog competition aims to:

  • Put into limelight issues, successes and challenges faced by youth engaged in: agriculture in urban and rural areas;
  • Encourage the production of information and the use of new information technologies by young farmers’ groups and organizations interested in the “youth in agriculture” question;
  • Promote the sharing of information on the issues of agriculture and rural development in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.

This competition is also being launched in the framework of the commemoration of the United Nations International Year of Youth.
The YoBloCo Awards are open in two categories, individual category and institutional category.
The “Individual category” is open to students in agricultural training courses, young farmers, journalists or other young people.
The “Institutional category” is open to local or national

  • young farmers’ organizations;
  • young members of farmers’ organizations;
  • young members of any organization interested inagriculture.

How to Participate
Blogs and all required documents should be submitted via an online form (the link will be provided on this page from 31 July 2011). Entrants must clearly indicate the category for which the entry is submitted. See their website for a detailed list of documents to submit with the your entry
Content of eligible blogs
The blog submitted can be a newly created one, or one that already exists but which has been recently updated with content related to agriculture.  However mainly blog posts from the commencement of the competition will be judged.
Posts/articles considered for the competition must be in French or English and can be related to one or several ACP countries.
Articles on the blog will cover themes or issues such as:

  • Challenges, success and issues faced by Youth in agriculture and related activities
  • Climate change, environmental conservation, natural resource management
  • Agri-business (marketing, commercialization, processing, etc.)
  • Agricultural production
  • Agriculture value chains and agricultural policy
  • ICT use in the agricultural sector (how can ICTs promote agriculture or how can ICT support innovation in agricultural value chains, ICT and agriculture policies, etc.)
  • How are ICTs improving (or can improve) youth opportunities in rural areas
  • Actions, policies and strategies related to youth involvement in agriculture
  • Food security
  • Agro-tourism
  • Any other agriculture related theme or issue;
  • Dialogue and mutual understanding among youth and other stakeholders in rural areas (see Note 4 below).

Selection process
An online vote by internet users will be organized as part of the selection process. In addition, an international panel of judges composed of experts in ICT and agriculture will be set up to review pre-selected entries and declare winners.
5. Selection criteria
The main selection criteria are the following:

  • Quality of language in posts
  • Originality of posts/articles (most posts should be written by the entrant)
  • Quality of analysis in the posts
  • Frequency/Consistency of blogging
  • Animation of the blog
  • Presence of agriculture related content (especially since the launch of the contest for existing blogs)
  • Overall technical quality of the blog

For the institutional category, additional criteria are:

  • Presence of information on the organization’s activities;
  • Presence of information in youth in agriculture issues.

For the “Individual category”: three prizes will be awarded, considering the whole ACP region
– First prize : 1,500 Euros
– Second Prize : 1,000 Euros
– Third Prize : 800 Euros
For the “Institutional category”, regional prizes will be awarded, one for each of the six ACP regions (West Africa, Central Africa, Southern Africa, East Africa, Pacific and Caribbean). Each regional winner will receive a cash prize of 3,000 Euros. In addition, the best runner-up in each region will receive other rewards from CTA.
Winning blogs and other best blogs will be promoted by CTA and its partners’ various channels.  In addition, authors of winning blog or other best blogs will have the opportunity to be involved in future activities of CTA or of its partners.
Deadline and key dates
The deadline for submission of entries is 31 October 2011 at 6 PM GMT.  The winners will be announced in February 2012. The date of the prize giving ceremony will be announced subsequently.In addition, some best blog authors will have the opportunity to be involved in our future activities.
Contact them if you have any question or if you want to join the ARDYIS project discussion list to exchange/receive information about youth, ICT and agriculture.
ARDYIS project/ICT4D Programme
Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA)
Email [email protected]
Telephone: +31 (0)317 467 100
Advice: Read the announcement on their website carefully to be familiar with the terms and conditions, as well as the documents to submit.
For more information, and to apply, click here.