Within the West African country of Cameroon, intense food and job insecurity has led to an increase in crime as young Cameroonians resort to committing petty crimes as a means of survival. The impacts of the pandemic, among other factors, have created a concerning trend of high incarceration rates among the population’s youth. As these youth are released back into a world with limited education and a lack of employment opportunities, they experience high re-incarceration rates and become trapped in the prison system. Agriculture for Africa’s (A4A) goal is to educate incarcerated youth about agricultural opportunities in hopes of reducing repeat imprisonment.
Our Practicum team has partnered with A4A to research technology-based sustainable agricultural solutions. for improving soil health, implementing solar power for water supply and irrigation, and creating maps for site management and planning, so that A4A can give vulnerable youth access to the tools and skills they need to confidently pursue new pathways in farming and sustainability. During the first stage of our project, our team plans to research sustainable agriculture innovations and alternative technology for the A4A programs ‘agriculture entrepreneurs’ in Los Angeles. For the second stage, we will travel to Nkongsamba, Cameroon and assess these technologies in the field while providing guidance on employing our solutions. Throughout the process, these solutions will be developed in collaboration with A4A leaders in Cameroon so that we can configure strategies that are effective and feasible for the Cameroonians. Through this relationship, we hope that the program will be able to increase individual and community-wide financial and environmental sustainability.
Student Team: Qile Chen, Ogechi Hubert, Ava McCandless, Teti Omilana, Matthew Puls, Kristen Tam, Maddie Wiygul
Client: Agriculture for Africa
Advisor: Dr. Kevin Njabo