In August-September 2022, we asked young people around the world to participate in our first NGIN Photo Competition. Hundreds of pictures were sent in to compete for prize money of up to 1000 Euros. A diverse and independ jury selected the top three winners by applying strict criteria to each of the submissions. The top three winning pictures were sent in by youngsters from Nepal, Ghana and Nigeria. And that was not all: At the World Food Forum 2022 in Rome, the three winning photos were exhibited in the Atrium of the FAO and the world was now invited to choose three additional prize winners from the top ten runner up submissions. That way, another three youth from Sri Lanka, Spain and Colombia received aa Community Award of 100 Euros each. And what happened to the exhibited photos of the top three awardees? They were handed over to leading managers of the FAO to keep inspiring their work on a daily basis.
Below is the motivation and story behind this picture provided by the artist Bimal Koirala, Nepal:
“I am very passionate about photography, cinematography and graphic designing. What I feel is the best way to capture and document moments in life is through visual story. Photography is my favorite way to express myself. I love presenting my work to people. The photo submitted was captured during my vacation while traveling with my brother-in-law in Palpa, Nepal, a lovely destination to visit for nature and culture enthusiasts. Being an agriculture student and sustainable agriculture enthusiast I went on the fields to capture the farmers. Every day, the food we eat connects us to a vast global web of farmers, traders, food manufacturers, retailers and many other people involved in getting food from farm to fork. Most of us probably don’t pause to think about it while biting into a piece of fruit or a slice of bread, but this global food system is central to some of the biggest challenges facing humanity. It’s the youth who can bring change to this system by imparting their efforts in the agricultural sector which is depicted in the photo submitted. That’s why I felt this photo can bring some energy to the youth around the globe towards our agriculture system. My goal and ultimate feeling of success is drawing other people into that moment as well.
NGIN Photo Competition Winner: 2nd place
Below is the amazing story to this picture provided by the artist Femi Adekoya, Nigeria:
“I’m a young agricultural professional with a decade of experience in the field of agriculture. Over the years my passion for agriculture and desire to see rapid and sustainable development evolve in my rural community have moved me toward embracing and leading agricultural technologies. Thus, my motivation to submit this photo stems from my desire to use technological innovation to transform the African agricultural systems.
This is a story to tell the world that young farmers in Nigeria and Africa at large are joyfully welcoming innovations, digital technology in particular, to make the Agri-food system more productive and sustainable. The photo shows how a young man is happily using drone technology to collect agricultural data and deliver valuable and actionable insights to farmers across different regions of Nigeria. We use drone technology to count cabbage plant head population for informed harvest planning and marketing. The farm location is in Ibadan, Southwest Nigeria.”
NGIN Photo Competition Winner: 3rd place
This is the amazing story to this picture provided by the artist Mac-Beth Yakuba, Ghana:
“Felicia Mbanpon is a 25 year old girl, a graduate of Salaga senior high school. She was born into a farm family. However, all her life she has known agriculture as a source of food security for her household. During her school days, she engaged in some farm practices and enlightenment which gave her a different perspective about agriculture. She believes a new dawn has emerged where young women can cultivate small acreages , apply good farm practices like, planting in rows, dibble and burry fertilizer, weed their farms in time and have good yields. She also hopes to buy some maize yields from her colleague farmers, store and sell when the prices go up. She calls this a New dawn for young men and women like her in Kotoya community. Felicia says the agricultural value chain is involving various sectors and every young person does not have to farm, but adding value to agricultural process and creating market linkages for farmers can bring income to the youth in agriculture. These innovative mechanisms will contribute to a more sustainable future in agriculture for young African people.”
Sri Lanka, Yohan Fernando:
“The Research” titled photo is of an Agriculture undergraduate conducting experiment using plant samples for her research project. She is examining the sample replicates in the photo.”
NSpain, Paula Trakoštanec:
My motivation for submitting the pictures [note of the editor: only the one showcased here was selected for the Community award] is to tell an inspiring story about a farm La Junquera that is making a change in the way of practicing agriculture. The farm can be considered a “lighthouse farm”, showing that regenerative practices are the future of food production.
The pictures were taken on two farms in the south of Spain called La Junquera and El Roble. In the southeast of Spain, there are serious problems with desertification due to climate change and the long history of conventional agricultural practices. The soils are degraded, aquifers are overexploited, and there is a significant biodiversity loss. Due to these reasons, managers of the farm La Junquera, Alfonso and Yanniek, decided to start with regenerative agriculture farming practices 10 years ago. Today, La Junquera focuses on achieving sustainable production while restoring farmland and natural areas by reducing erosion, improving fertility, increasing water infiltration, and creating conditions to increase biodiversity. Five years ago, they started with Regeneration Academy, which aims to train present and future generations in regenerative agriculture. They have designed different programs for doing research, entrepreneurship, ecosystem restoration, and sharing knowledge about regenerative agriculture techniques. I am here as a part of Regeneration Academy, together with five colleagues from the Netherlands, Croatia and Australia who are doing internship or thesis. In the first picture called Grape harvest, it can be seen that we are harvesting grapes on the farm, and the varieties are planted in a traditional Spanish way, without supporting poles.
The picture called “Vegetable garden making” is taken at El Roble, a former conventional farm that was bought this year by SLM (Sustainable Land Management) company. SLM gave farm management to Alfonso due to his knowledge and experience on La Junquera, to transform El Roble farm into a regenerative agriculture farm. In the picture, it can be seen our efforts to create a vegetable garden. So far, nothing had ever grown on this plot and the soil is full of stones and compacted. We managed to plow the soil, plant vegetables together with aromatics, and place irrigation, in hopes that by taking care of soil in the future, it will become productive and healthy and bring food for humans and animals in the area.
This is our story, and this is our effort to make this piece of the world a better place. Thank you for reading!“
Colombia, Sebastian Chavez:
“ Starting the day for a youth and his mother and their cows in Silvia, Cauca: It is 5:30 am in the morning and it is starting the day for John and his mother in the indigenous community of Silvia, Cauca, quite far from the city, in the middle of mountains and hit by the cold wind coming down from the paramo, every morning for 4 weeks John helped his mother in the farm work, especially with the milking of the cows. For John in his words, this activity is important, although he cannot do it much time, because he has been away for the last 5 months for his studies in the city and only had 4 weeks of vacation to help his mother on the farm, because of her advanced age some tasks are difficult for her, John knows this and told me before coming while we were studying in the city, always worried about how to help more on the farm even away from home.”