Bringing social innovation and agroecology together: RAISE Youth AGRO in Extremadura

During the last couple of months, the team of FUNDECYT-PCTEX has been working together with specialized trainers to design and implement a new training programme for young people related to the field of agroecology and agribusiness in Extremadura. This new training combined: 1) in-situ visits to new and innovative farm holdings all across Extremadura that integrate, in some way or another, the idea of social innovation and social responsibility; and, 2) a Social Service Jam that aimed to engage them in the process of developing a business idea related to the improvement and/or management of a sustainable and agroecological farm holding.

The attendees, all enrolled in Castillo de Luna Secondary School’s vocational training in agroecology, visited two different farm holdings in Extremadura, one located in the province of Cáceres and the other in Badajoz, were successful entrepreneurs related to the field of agro explained them their business activities and how did they manage their natural resources effectively. This training was integrated in vocational training, in order to enrich the programmes and complement contents about the use of permaculture activities, sensoring and digital agriculture and also gained some ground-level knowledge about social entrepreneurship, such as the importance of having a reliable network and community of support that enables companies and initiatives to bring innovation, and to incorporate a social perspective a sector that is teeming with technological innovations.

This training finalized with the celebration of a Social Service Jam both with the students enrolled in the business and administrative management and agricultural vocational training programme. By combining these two programmes, the attendees were able to co-create and come up with different business ideas aligned to their own interests and fields of work and have very solid initiatives that combined the expertise of both programmes while also being integrated in the social fabric of the community.