Founded in 2013 by YADEN (Youth Arts Development and Entrepreneurship Network)
Cool Farming is a long-term project in which farming is made accessible, gainful and attractive to young people.
In rural areas, agriculture is the main source of employment, but young people are not meaningfully involved. Farming is not accessible, gainful and attractive to youngsters. A change in mind-set and negative attitude towards farming is needed in order to engage them in agriculture. Inspiration, creative and innovative methodologies can help rural young people to establish agri-business enterprises.
Solution and innovation
Cool Framing carefully analyses the context of young people in rural areas in order to understand what interests them. They identify opportunities and challenges on how to make farming attractive to young people. Small groups are formed, based on their interest. Through performances such as theatre, dance, music and creative arts attitudes and behaviors are challenged. With the help of mentors and specific youth investment systems youngsters learn new agriculture knowledge and get practical skills on modern farming. Cool Farming works closely with universities to transfer new knowledge to practical lessons. Youth program officers are selected and trained as agents of change, and will have the status and power to sell the program to other stakeholders in the community and government. Ultimately, the project is youth owned, youth managed and youth led.
For the young people that participated in the project it has been a life-changing experience that impacted their economic, social and political status. 73% of the participants stated their income increased due to improved agronomy practices and marketing skills that they learned with Cool Farming. Some used their resources to find funding from government and other donors. 15 from the 20 groups received some form of external financial and material support. Four young women reported to even have taken up political leadership positions.
“We joined Yaden to a community where they support a youth saving group consisting of 30 young members. We were impressed on how the members of this group and their families, improved their lives by smart choices, serious savings and group works. The group bought 10 acres of land, and invested their savings in machines to work in a value chain.” Oxfam Novib delegation, visiting Cool Framing in 2015
Cool Farming has been researched by an external committee. Read the external evaluation report here.