Launch of the Youth Food Lab
Following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Wageningen University & Research (WUR), with an earlier announcement in 2022 at the World Food Forum (WFF), the Youth Food Lab was launched at the International Conference for Youth in Agriculture in Wageningen, on 18 January 2023.
The Youth Food Lab was created to bring idea stage solutions to implementation, and to scale up existing projects. Ten teams, consisting of young researchers, entrepreneurs and innovators have been selected for the first cohort of this new incubation programme, which will start in February 2023. Via tailor-made programmes, the teams receive hands-on mentorship, expert workshops, access to a large network and visibility at the global WFF stage in October 2023.
The Youth Food Lab is a collaboration between the WFF, WUR, I4Nature and the International Association of Students in Agricultural and Related Sciences (IAAS).
The following ten teams have been selected to participate in the Youth Food Lab's first cohort:
- “Food Bank of Bolivia” (Bolivia) by Bruno E and Ferreira Crespo, Solving the problems of food waste, undernourishment, and poor farmer lifestyle in Bolivia - selected from the 2022 Thought For Food & WFF Food Security and Resilience Prize;
- “Hydropan” (Kenya) by Muuo Denis Muendo, Mitigating the challenge of food insecurity in Kenya - selected from the Qing Innovation Track Competition for Climate Adaptation in Food Systems;
- “PURA” (Brazil) by Arthur Cesa Venturella, Planting Sovereignty and Equity through Agroecological Agroforestry Systems - selected from the WUR Nature Based Solutions Challenge;
- “Wetlands for Nepal” (Nepal) by Anu Rai, Utilising invasive aquatic weed for biopesticide - selected from the WUR Nature Based Solutions Challenge;
- “Bees and Trees” (Uganda) by Stephen Bright Sakwa, Samantha Natumanya, Sandra Namugabo, Esmee Kooijman, Govardhan Pinni, Connie Olive Nalumansi and Elivis Omoit, Promoting bee keeping as an alternative source of livelihood - selected from the WUR Nature Based Solutions Challenge;
- “School Meets the Reef” (Sri Lanka) by Samara Dilakshani Polwatta Lekamlage Palindi Lashika Kalubowila, Chamil Karunathilaka, Bhagya Jayasundara and Pathumini Jayamanne, Activating the value of coastal ecosystems via its application in coral reef restoration methods and building awareness of coastal ecosystems - selected from the WUR Nature Based Solutions Challenge;
- “OLICHA” (Italy) by Sofia Cavalleri, Pavlina Radova and Tobia Stammbach, Olive tea: the Mediterranean matcha? Assessing the sustainability of traditional Mediterranean medicine - selected from the 2022 WFF Transformative Research Challenge;
- “Mama4Planet” (Indonesia) by Annisa Fajriani, MD Davrina Rianda, MD Deviana Siregar, M. Nutr and Dyana Sari, MPH, Reduce food waste in the community through improved food waste reduction policies and programs - selected from the 2022 WFF Transformative Research Challenge;
- “The Water Security Passionate” (Ethiopia) by Pacem Kotchofa, Implications of irrigation schemes and remotely sensed data on farmers' water and agricultural productivity in Ethiopia - selected from the 2021 WFF Transformative Research Challenge; and
- “The Green Team” (Nigeria) by Adeikeoluwa Alo, Fiyinfoluwa Afolabi and David Awujoola, Production of Safer and Quality Beans in Nigeria- selected from the IAAS Global Project Competition.