35 / Siparia, Trinidad and Tobago
The educator inspiring the next generation of sustainable farmers
How do you educate the next generations to achieve global food and nutrition security within the next 30 years? For Alpha Sennon, the answer takes an unexpected shape: the brilliantly referenced ‘food superheroes’.
Growing up on a farm in Trinidad and Tobago, Alpha was always the first to get out of bed – not to watch cartoons and play video games like his friends, but rather to feed the chickens or water the crops. Despite being determined not to become a farmer, the only course that truly interested him at university turned out to be agribusiness. By studying farming from a different point of view, Alpha understood that it wasn’t about planting vegetables, but about feeding the world with healthy, nutritious food.
After university, he created Agriman, Alpha’s first food security superhero. Agriman is on a mission to become the world’s most powerful food provider, fighting villains such as PlasticImposter and SugarBlast with his trusted sidekicks PhotosyntheSista and Agribot. In 2017, Alpha built on the idea by founding WHYFarm (We Help Youth Farm), an NGO that promotes the importance of sustainable agriculture among youth and children through innovative and creative strategies – comic books, theatre, visual arts, music and poetry. Alpha wants to turn agriculture into ‘agricoolture’, making farming more attractive to the next generation while building their capacity in agricultural entrepreneurship.
His work doesn’t stop at children – he has also developed the Agripreneur Master Programme, an eight-week challenge in which WHYFarm selects the top 10 young ‘agripreneurs’ in Trinidad and Tobago to help them develop their projects. Building on the NGO’s work with 60 schools and about 15,000 children per year nationwide, Alpha is working on a new big project: the School of Agricoolture, to further spread WHYFarm’s model and edutainment strategies.
“It’s not my generation that will feed the world in 2050. The children of today will. If we don’t have that conversation with them, by 2050 we’ll be asking ourselves: ‘Where are our farmers, where’s our food?’” – Alpha Sennon
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