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About Us

The Young Animators' Club (MRCI-SUPL 1) is a Pilot Partnership Project between Crawford University, Nigeria and Botswana College of Agriculture, Gaborone; Sponsored by the Association of African Universities (AAU) under the auspices of DFID.

The project is aimed at disseminating improved farm practices to farmers with the overall goal of increasing farm productivity. The project consists of Young Animators, Farmers, Extension Agents, Participating Institutions etc.

Young Animators

A young animator is a secondary school boy or girl, of farmers’ parentage, between the age of 13 and 20 years, involved in farming activities, trained and empowered to use information and communication technologies (ICTs) devises- computers, internet, mobile phone and the likes, on how to disseminate improved farm practices to farmers with whom they are trained to work for the overall goal of increasing farm productivity. Read more about Young Animators

Background to the need for Young Animators

    The Young Animators' Club complements Agricultural Extension services.
  • The rural communities remain an important sector in agrarian nations of Africa, with a large majority of the people that live in the rural areas predominantly farmers, yet these rural farming communities are characterized by low education, mass illiteracy, high level of poverty and poor standard of living.
  • Despite the availability of many on-shelf adaptable research results waiting to be used by farmers to transform the agricultural sector, many farmers are still unable to gain access to them, for instance, farmers need timely and accurate information for decision making on what and when to plant, where to locate agricultural inputs, how to identify and respond to diseases, pests and droughts, and which innovation to adopt and so on
  • Agricultural extension holds the key to the dissemination of information that should address most of these questions but due to inadequate number of its personnel and its poor funding, it remains very inefficient and ineffective.
    For example, in the southwestern Nigeria, where the ratio of extension agent to farm families was ideally recommended by the FAO as 1:250, the situation since 2006 shows that the ratio is 1: 7,394.
  • For this reason, the farming communities still experience obsolete method and continued drudgery in farming, unattractiveness of farming to young men and women and indeed the persistent low yield from the agricultural practice which has subjected the smallholder farmers to abject poverty.
    Lack of an effective communication linkage between these illiterate smallholder farmers and potential buyers of their farm produce has exposed the farmers to great exploitation

Organisational Structure of Young Animators' Club