LDF project awarded with 2020 CSR China Education Awards
Led jointly by Louis Dreyfus Foundation, Louis Dreyfus Company and the NGO China Education Support Project (CESP), our ‘Sustainable Agriculture Future Change-Maker’ project in China recently won the 2020 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) China Education Awards for two categories: Youth Impact and Best Sustainable Development.
Established in 2014 by China Youth League and other leading industry associations, and the only CSR awards endorsed by China’s Ministry of Education and relevant government agencies, the CSR China Education Awards aim to recognize outstanding private sector contribution to educational development in the country.
The ‘Sustainable Agriculture Future Change-Maker’ project is the first educational program of such a large scale supported by the Foundation in China. Its objective is to develop the knowledge and skills of 200 university students over three years, encourage these talents to enter the agricultural sector and promote more sustainable production methods that would benefit China's environment, public health and agricultural productivity in the long term.
“Through this project, we hope to nurture young talents in China, and contribute to increasing food security, safety and sustainability of smallholder farmers,” said Robert Serpollet, the General Manager of the Foundation.
The program kicked off in 2020 with training on modern farming methods delivered to more than 100 university students from Beijing and other provinces. After completing their online curriculum, the students traveled out to rural areas across the country to conduct surveys on local farming conditions and challenges.
Accompanied by agricultural experts, they passed on their knowledge to farmers, training them to increase their income and productivity through more sustainable practices, shifting away from the overuse of fertilizers and pesticides that leads to soil erosion and pollution, water scarcity and loss of biodiversity.
“The project was a great opportunity to put knowledge into practice, and better understand the difficulties that local farmers face on the ground. We were very happy to support and help them solve their problems. We are also much more confident about the perspectives of having a successful career in the agricultural sector,” said Chenyu Xiao, a student from China Agricultural University.
Going forward, the project will pursue its plan to engage and train more students across the country, adding innovative agricultural methods and techniques to the curriculum, such as the use of bio-organic fertilizer to reduce rates of chemical fertilization, improve soil fertility and enhance crop yield and quality.