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Campaigning for conservation

With perfect lighting and the cackling of geese as a soundtrack, Campaigning for Conservation (C4C) training kicked off at the Manor House Agricultural Center on the 12th of March 2018 and lasted twelve days.

This was a training offered to twenty-six Farming for Biodiversity Campaigners from across the country Kenya by RARE, IFOAM Organics International and was supported by German Environment Ministry’s International Climate Initiative. The Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD)- Kenya had the privilege and opportunity of attending the training and this will definitely influence the approach to conducting awareness campaigns in changing the negative perceptions of youths towards agriculture in Kenya.

The training objectives were to learn about the theory and practice of social marketing and “Behavior Change Continuum” concepts and develop related campaign materials that included: billboard, a campaign song, a sermon sheet and a puppet show.

The key highlights of the training included: key social marketing principles; value of concept models; RARE’s Theory of Change; creating a benefit exchange and developing survey instruments; conducting Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (KAP) surveys; Marketing Mix 4P’s and messaging; principles of organic farming; standards, certification and Participatory Guarantee Systems in organic farming. The training progress was being constantly updated online and the proceedings, training resources and participants blogs can be found at Farming for Biodiversity’s website.

During the workshop, we visited several farmers who are doing tremendous works in agriculture and this varied from large-scale conventional dairy operations to a smaller enterprise run by a biogas expert, a farm impressively combining agriculture and conservation zones. The practicality of the training was a major highlight and would have wished for more youths to have attended for a one-on-one experience.

This training will be a major influencer and game changer for YPARD Kenya in running its activities to change the perception of Kenyan youth to engage in agriculture especially for improvement of livelihoods and job or wealth creation.

Photo credit: Phidel Hazel Arunga