On 11 December 2023, the jury members of the PARM Stories Challenge have officially revealed the winners and finalists of the first edition of the challenge. Run from 26 September to 26 November 2023, the international campaign received a high participation of over 40 journalists, filmmakers, and media professionals from Africa and the diaspora who unleashed their creativity by crafting compelling videos that highlight innovative initiatives and self-resilience efforts of Farming Champions. After deliberations, 10 top videos have been selected, three of which were classified as winners and seven as finalists.
Top 3 Winners
Pascal Ishimwe has been qualified for the first winning place with his video “Nurturing Farms, Growing Futures” that unfolds the stories of resilience of farmers from Rwanda facing numerous obstacles every day in the exercise of their work and that echoes with the stories of small-scale farmers from all around the world. Pascal Ishimwe is a dedicated filmmaker based in the vibrant city of Kigali, Rwanda who puts efforts to use his camera to create narratives that resonate with audiences. As the first winner, he will benefit from a field mission to gain direct experience of the projects/activities of the United Nations in agricultural risk management and will participate in an international event where his video will be presented.
The second winner is Steven Costa Midjola with his video “Cultiver le Changement : Le Chemin d’une Femme de Badja vers l’Agroécologie” (video in French) that follows the inspiring journey of Da Ama, a determined farmer who abandoned chemical herbicides to cultivate her land sustainably using agroecology. Steven Costa Midjola is a filmmaker from Togo who focuses on development topics such as peace, UN peacekeeping forces and development projects with international organisations. He is currently working for a production company.
Aboubakar Dewa has been qualified for the third winning place for his video, “Le ZAI, une technique agroécologique durable pour la sécurité alimentaire au nord-Cameroun” (video in French) that presents the daily life of farmers in Ouro André village in northern Cameroon, who face the impacts of soil degradation and climate change. Aboubakar Dewa is an-award winning freelance multimedia journalist based in Cameroon specialized in investigative reporting.
Alongside the first winner, both the second and third-place winners will participate in an international event to present their videos which will also be promoted across PARM, FARM-D and Africa 21 institutional platforms.
Top 7 Finalists
The seven finalists following the 3 winners, who have also remarkably taken up the challenge are:
– Eliya Dzowah, Freelance Videographer (Malawi) – 4th place: His video “A new hope” explores, through the story of a women farmer named Nora, how techniques like compost manure, can help protect the environment and strengthen the resilience of farmers.
– Yacine N. Seye, Environment Media Specialist (Senegal) – 5th place: Her video “Zone des Niayes au Sénégal : les agriculteurs face aux changements climatiques” narrates the story of resilience of farmers in the Niayes area in Senegal who cope with the effects of climate change.
– Carolyne Tomno, Journalist (Kenya) – 6th place: Through her video “Farming and Innovation”, she shares the story of a farmer, George Muturi, who supported his community, and particularly women and youth, by providing them with opportunities and ways to combat climate change.
– Sharon Ambani Tamba, Journalist (Kenya) – 7th place: Her video “Sustaining agri-food supply through small scale organic farming” highlights the story of Ken Lubanga, a farmer from the Western part of Kenya who practices small-scale mixed organic farming as a way to produce healthy food in an eco-friendly manner.
– Djibo Mamoudou, Communication Officer (Niger) – 8th place: His video “Maraîchage : de la nécessité à la passion“ tells the story of Boureima Ouaba, a farmer who used ingenuity and adaptation to build his resilience and provide for his family.
– Dennis Avokoywa Chagala, Journalist (Kenya) – 9th place: His video “How Technology Revolutionizes Agriculture in Machakos County, Kenya” sheds light on the struggles of small-scale farmers in Kenya’s Machakos county, who have faced decades of severe crop losses due to the intervention of fall armyworm infestations and whose use of technologies appears to be a ray of hope.
– Baron Nkoy, Journalist and Filmmaker (Democratic Republic of the Congo) – 10th place: His video “Kinshasa face à l’insécurité alimentaire” showcases local initiatives that promote women’s empowerment, agricultural training and the enhancement of local resources to achieve healthy and sufficient food.
All finalists will receive certificates of participation which recognize them as finalists of an international challenge and will have their names and profiles featured in the challenge communication materials.
To reward all candidates, PARM will organize a certified online training in agricultural risk management for all 42 participants of the challenge. The training will take place in the first quarter of year 2024 with international experts. This will be an opportunity to raise awareness of journalists and media professionals on the concept of agricultural risks, risk analysis methodologies, risk hierarchy and agricultural risk management tools. A certificate will be issued at the end of the training.
More than a competition, the PARM Stories Challenge was meant to offer an opportunity for journalists and media professionals to express their own style of storytelling by creating a video that portrays rural farmers’ self-resilience to agricultural risks and showcases how this could be strengthened in order to increase their productivity and sustainable agri-food systems, hence contributing to the achievement of sustainable development goals.