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GEORGETOWN, Guyana — The 2nd Edition of the Youth in Agriculture Blog Competition (YoBloCo Awards) was launched this week at the 12th Caribbean Week of Agriculture here.

The competition is supported by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation, ACP-EU (CTA), in collaboration with FARA, Yam-Pukri, CAFAN, AYF, ANAFE, SPC/PAFPNET and e-Agriculture, and is open in two categories — individual and institutional — for persons between 18 to 35 years old living in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.

Jethro Greene, chief coordinator of the Caribbean Farmer Network (CAFAN) expressed excitement and assurance that blogging is an efficient way to attract more youths in agriculture.

“With more youth involved in agriculture, using new technology, it will be common to see farmers in our region driving a Mercedes Benz,” he siad, noting that unlike in the Caribbean, in Holland, it is farmers rather that bankers who drive the most luxurious vehicles.

Ken Lohento, ICT4D Programme Coordinator who manages the awards, said in this edition, three new special prizes have been planned:

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the Best Blog on Family Farming to celebrate the International Year of Family Farming (2014), the Best female agri-blogger and the Best Blog which has business potential.

CTA has recognized that through this competition, opportunities for enhancing careers are available, “The YoBloCo Awards have so far contributed to improving career opportunities for its best entrants,” Lohento said.

Lamon Rutten, manager at CTA, revealed that the YoBloCo awards with its follow-up activities, was one of CTA’s initiatives which will encourage youths to use their ICT talents to transform agricultural value chains and improve their lives.

Other stakeholders who took the floor before the youthful audience include Cleve Scott from CAFAN and Barbadian MP, James Paul, who officially declared the competition open.

This contest is organized in the framework of the Agriculture Rural Development and Youth in Information Society (ARDYIS) project, which aims to raise youth awareness and improve their capacity on agricultural and rural development issues in ACP countries using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).

The aims of the blog competition are to: raise issues, successes and challenges faced by youth engaged in agriculture; encourage the production and use of new information and communication technologies by young farmers’ groups and organizations. Prizes are up to 3000 Euros.

Submission of Blogs: Dec. 2, 2013 to Jan. 31, 2014.