Three young leaders, each with a passion for sustainable global agriculture, have been named winners of Bayer’s Youth Ag Summit Thrive for Change Awards.
Bruno Ferreira from Bolivia, Chidinma Ezeh from Nigeria, and Emiliano Barbero from Argentina will each receive a $5,000 award to help put their winning Thrive for Change project ideas into action. From September 2021 to March 2022, the awardees developed their project plans to make a difference in the fight against food insecurity and climate change.
The Thrive for Change Awards culminate the 5th biennial Youth Ag Summit (YAS) and its idea incubator, YAS University. Last fall, the global summit virtually connected 100 delegates from 45 different countries of all continents, ages 18-25, to learn from global thought leaders and exchange ideas for solving some of our planet’s most pressing challenges. The delegates were selected from more than 2,000 applicants. The university program then provided each of these young leaders with further training and mentoring on how to prepare their Thrive for Change project ideas for real-world implementation.
“These young people came to our program with the passion needed to make a real difference in tackling food security challenges in their communities as well as around the world,” said Rodrigo Santos, member of the Board of Management of Bayer AG and President of the Crop Science Division. “They leave now with tangible plans to transform agriculture and improve the lives of millions.”
Fellow delegates nominated the winning projects to compete for the final awards. A jury of innovation and agriculture experts then selected the three top winners.
Emiliano Barbero’s Thrive for Change project will work to improve one of the most essential elements in life — water. “BluTech is about taking advantage of useful microalgae to eliminate nutrient pollution in bodies of water that put the lives of people at risk,” said Barbero. “When we do that, we are helping to improve their water quality and at the same time, producing more and better food to feed a hungry planet.”
“The inequalities of farmers — especially in Africa — emanates from a wide knowledge gap in production agriculture,” said Thrive for Change winner Chidinma Ezeh. “My award will go toward expanding my project, FarmCAS, to equip farmers with the needed tools and capacity training in vegetable production.”
“My project, Probá, is a branching project of the Food Bank of Bolivia,” shared Bruno Ferreira. “It is an upcycling production plant with triple impact, by working to solve the problems of food waste, undernourishment, and poor farmer lifestyle in Bolivia. I can’t wait to see it start creating highly nutritious food for those who most need it. “
This year’s awards program featured speakers who share the delegates’ passion to make a difference toward achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Julie Borlaug, President, Borlaug Foundation and Mina Guli, CEO, Thirst Foundation shared their insights into what actions will help this new generation of changemakers continue to create a more sustainable world.
All twelve finalists will receive a laptop or tablet to further boost their ability to create impact projects that help help build a world with health for all and hunger for none.