As the year 2015 begins and the shift in the development agenda occurs towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) the question will be how to arrive at these goals sustainably while at the same time respecting the planetary boundaries. It is expected that the population will also increase with the number of people standing at 10.8 billion by the close of the 21st Century.  This will in turn mean more pressure on the resources and more anthropogenic effects in an attempt to sustain the increased population. Following this course of events it is prudent for development actors and for young people to engage in activities that are not only smart and which will secure the earth for present and future generations. This is the focus of the organization NAYD is celebrating this month.

SAO fundraises for the Lupus Alert Project
NAYD would like to recognize the work done by Sustainable Agricultural Organization (SAO) in Mauritius in the community to promote smart agriculture. SAO seeks to promote the acceptance and adoption of Sustainable Agriculture among the young generation for meeting the challenge of sustainable and climate-resilient food security. With the major aim of ensuring that the youth and persons with disabilit

ies become familiar with the principles and practices of Sustainable Agriculture and adopt them, Sustainable Agricultural Organization works with students in colleges and universities, persons living with disability and orphaned children.

The SAO team, Mauritius
With the continuing climate change agriculture has to face three challenges: ensuring food security through increased productivity and income, adapting to climate change and contributing to climate change mitigation. Sustainable agriculture is one of the most effective ways to produce in the long term while taking into consideration the various aspects of nature. Concepts like evergreen revolution, organic farming and Climate-Smart Agriculture all form part of sustainable agriculture. Through its various practices and policies, such as minimum fertilizer use, reduced pesticide or use of compost, problems such as land degradation, soil and water pollution and Green-house gas emission are greatly reduced. Since use of organic products help to increase the fertility of soil, the land’s productivity increases over time.
SAO does this by conducting the following activities:
·         Awareness raising among school and college students, young farmers and youth clubs
·         Helping those youth already working in this domain to scale up their activities
·         Organizing media talks, TV shows, presentations and seminars on Sustainable Agriculture
·         Organizing site visits, drawing competitions, essay competitions related to Sustainable Agriculture
Projects carried out by SAO from September 2014:
1.      Painting competition by APDA school students in collaboration with the teaching staff at APDA School held at APDA School, Curepipe. The competition was aimed at sensitizing children on the importance of agriculture and the impact of climate change. Prior to the painting competition a short power point presentation was done in order to help the children understand the importance and opportunities that agriculture has to offer and also on the impact of climate change and how they can mitigate it through agriculture.
During a presentation on climate change
2.       Project Smart Agriculture in collaboration with AIESEC (University Technology of Mauritius) aimed at exposing international interns from China and Malaysia on the different sectors of Agriculture. The project had duration of 4 weeks during which the interns learnt about the vegetable sector, poultry sector, pig sector and dairy sector among others. Each sector included a presentation and a site visit.
Challenges encountered
1.      Funding is a major constraint that SAO usually has to face. Though all the members are volunteers; funding is always required to cater for basic needs such as transport, stationary and conference room.
Future Projects
Interns at SAO plant beans
1.      Establishment of home garden at APDA School
2.      National Project to sensitize socially marginalized young people

 

3.      Project Smart Agriculture on National level
Contact SAO here:
agrisustainorg@gmail.com