Table-cultivation systems in Suriname help youths and seniors
The ‘Impact Grow’ project started a small-scale agricultural company. Vegetables are cultivated via an innovative table-cultivation system. This company gives perspective to youths with a distance to the labour market. Additionally, seniors can gain social contacts through the project. Seniors often have a limited social circle and are in need of a meeting place. On the farm, contacts are made automatically, an income can be earned and knowledge is passed on to young people.
A meeting place for the elderly
During an 12-week education process, elder people learn about agriculture. They gain practical knowledge about cultivating vegetables. In the project, special table-cultivation systems are ysed. The tables are hip-hight, so cultivating the vegetables is made easy for the elderly. After the education process, they pass their knowledge on to young people who are involved with the Impact Grow project in the form of a master-journeyman model.
Perspective on the future for young people
The vulnerable youths who participate in the Impact Grow project do not have a basic qualification. The aim of the project is outflow to an education or a job. Young people who become enthusiastic about cultivating vegetables can use the work-learning process as a basis for starting their own agricultural business. The knowledge gained by the elderly is passed on to the youths. The process consists of workshops, training and personal guidance by a coach.
Helping and inspiring each other
“Our agriculture project bring together Surinamese people of all ages. It is our meeting place, where we inspire and appreciate each other as a team and help each other during the difficult times in our life. I believe we can make the world a bit better this way,” says Yvonne Ghisaidoobe, chair of Surisol.
A sustainable project
Aside from the social impact the project has by giving young people and seniors a chance in society, the project also has a positive impact on the environment and climate. Table-cultivation systems are sustainable and innovative. They use less water, fertilisers and pesticides than regular cultivation systems.
Creating a revenue model
The next step in the project is focussing on sales and marketing. Direct sale of the cultivated products is part of the businesscase. A sales stall will be realised in the cultivation centre. Meeting a client is a valuable addition to the learning experience of the young people.