Arrell Award Ceremony: Access Agriculture shines spotlight on farmer empowerment through local language videos
On 7 June 2022, the Access Agriculture team received the 2022 Arrell Global Food Innovation Award in the category of Community Engagement Innovation in Toronto, Canada. The team comprised Josephine Rodgers, Executive Director; Paul Van Mele, Director for International Development; and Jane Nalunga, Coordinator of the Rural Entrepreneur Programme, who joined the event remotely.
“Local indigenous languages and indigenous knowledge really are at the core of what Access Agriculture does,” said Josephine Rodgers, accepting the Award. She emphasised that sharing knowledge between communities across countries is vital to cope with changes and crises. “We are partway through the UN Decade of Family Farming and in the first year of the UN Decade of Indigenous Languages, and we aim to make both count.”
The Arrell Global Food Innovation Awards recognise global excellence in food innovation and community impact. The Awards are adjudicated by a group of internationally respected scientists and community activists.
Handing over the Award, Adrianne Xavier, Acting Director, Indigenous Studies Programme at McMaster University, who served as an adjudicator of the 2022 Awards, remarked, “The Access Agriculture video resources provide information and relevant content to farmers in small communities, which is critical to local food systems in the Global South.”
The Award ceremony was held during the 5th Annual Arrell Food Summit, which bought together food leaders and experts to co-create solutions and discuss how to work together to ensure a healthy and resilient future of food.
In keeping with the Summit’s focus and Access Agriculture’s vision, Paul Van Mele said, “We try to strengthen farmers’ knowledge, but also society at large to produce, process and consume food with greater respect for nature and local culture. This award is a recognition of the contribution of our staff and the hundreds of partners, who make use of our videos to train farmers in their own communities to promote agroecology and regenerative farming.”
The Award panel highlighted that Access Agriculture was selected for its model, outreach, and delivery of training videos in local languages, along with the engagement created at the community level, all of which contributes to healthier and more resilient food systems.
Thanking the panel for its support and encouragement, Jane Nalunga said, “This is a great recognition of the young people, who are providing services to remote rural communities across Africa and now in South Asia too, using solar powered smart projectors to show videos of farmers inspiring other farmers in local languages. We are delighted to be recognised and aim to expand our activities with these wonderful rural people.”
Video podcast : Access Agriculture receives 2022 Arrell Award