While the argument of unemployment nourishes the migratory crisis by the Mediterranean, some 20 km from Abidjan, young people turn to the agro-pastoral for food. They spent nine months training at the Tshanfeto educational farm in Adiapodoumé, in the commune of Songon. The President of the NSIA Group and the eponymous foundation have supported and still promise.

The first day of July 2017 begins with an atmosphere of rejoicing at the Tshanfeto educational farm, which means “get up” in the Atchan language. It is located in the parish of Saint-Bernard d’Adiapodoumé, village of Songon commune, 20 km from the Ivorian economic capital.

In less than an hour, 23 trainees will see nine months of apprenticeship with diplomas. They have just been equipped with the machinery of animal husbandry and organic farming. Now the quail, the rabbit, the pig, among others, have no secrets for them. They know how to use natural fertilizer. In summary, the school learns poultry farming, soil management, crop protection. A module for marketing and agricultural marketing completes the program.
This farm being a work of Catholic religious, a human formation accompanies the technical skills. This, in order to comply with the social doctrine of the church. However, it is not necessary to be a Christian to be welcomed and accommodated.

Eloquent testimonials

In the room prepared for the graduation ceremony, the relatives and friends of the recipients take their places. Julie Yao is delighted and happy. While the migratory crisis of the young makes the headlines of the news, its cadet is part of the 18th promotion to the honor. Aged 25, N’guessan Pascale, the youngest holder holds a Certificate of Higher Technician in Logistics. Julie Yao, who owns a cultivated plot, explains the choice of the family. « We chose this training so that it is interested in the foundations of the food which is the agriculture and the livestock typically organic», indicates. Small, Pascale develops a love for rabbits. She is therefore in line with her passion. « It’s a great experience, she teaches us a lot at home», says Julie Yao.

When the recipients are interviewed, it is with great enthusiasm that they recount their adventure. Roland Azo Galé is one of them. His deafness is not a brake for him. He is ranked 8th at the end of the training with an average of 14/20. He becomes deaf at the age of 8 years due to an earache. But it fits into the normal school curriculum. He obtains his diplomas until the baccalauréat. Faced with the difficulties of insertion because of his handicap, he turned to the agro-pastoral culture and falls in love with the organic method. For his family, he is a pride. His brother traveled from Italy to attend the ceremony. « The family is happy. We thank God. Our brother will finally be able to autonomize himself », is happy Djemis Olivier Galé.

Another story told with joy. It is as a young mother that Ako Kousso Dorcas enrolls in the pedagogical farm. During the training, she negotiates the weekend to look after the newborn. « Agriculture is something I have enjoyed for a long time. I came to Tshanfeto to have more knowledge in practice. It was not easy with the baby but I wanted this training. I now feel fit for animal and plant production », she says.

His message to the young migrants of the Mediterranean on makeshift boats is without appeal: « Agriculture is really painful but also profitable. It is less painful than the crossing of the sea after the desert, from the images we see on television. Let the youngsters not hesitate to get their hands dirty. The money they give to the smugglers can be used for their installation and it will soon be profitable  », she said. According to him, « on the level of market gardening, with less than 100 thousand francs, after 45 days, the harvest can be worth 300 thousand CFA francs on a small portion of land. By growing cucumber on 200 square meters, it can produce more than 500 kg».

Everything confirmed by Loukou Stanislas, a trainer at the center. It is itself a product of the pedagogical farm. He is happy to be able to take care of his family. He remains convinced that it is suicidal to borrow the sea in search of the Eldorado. «  The outlets exist. Former interns are employed in large structures such as the CBS, the CNRA, others work at home. But it must be said that the greater part of the trainees settled on their own account. The installation in agriculture does not cost much. With five thousand CFA francs, if you have plots, you can settle in vegetable production by buying a bag of lettuce at a thousand francs, a watering can at three thousand. And with this bag of lettuce, if all goes well, up to 80, even 100 thousand francs », explains the trainer.

Father Hyacinthe Ali Konan, vicar of the host parish, is the director of the pedagogical farm. If it agrees that it helps the integration of young people and the fight against unemployment, it includes those who choose the sea and not the land. « It is up to the public authorities to create the conditions for taking young people to take responsibility on the spot», he recommends.

The method of learning emphasizing “organic” seduces the apostolic nuncio Joseph Spiteri.« All that is produced in the farm is a real example of safeguarding the environment, that’s what we really need for the future of humanity», hi there climate change mitigation action.

The vision of the religious of Betharram, initiators of the center, places the gospel as the motor of their action. This vision is guided by the gospel of the paralytic who says« stand up, take your stretcher and walk ». This explains the choice of the name Tshanfeto.

Support from the NSIA Foundation

Jean Kacou Diagou, CEO of the NSIA group, sponsor of the 18th promotion, believes that this center is one of the structures that can help the integration of young people. « There is nothing better than living at home. Instead of being drowned in the Mediterranean after suffering in the desert or in countries where it is not always accepted, it is better to make efforts to learn a trade. The land in Côte d’Ivoire and in our West African countries is generous. She only asks for arms to allow the fruit », to galvanize it.

Impressed by the work that is done in the center, the president of the NSIA group intends to modernize and internationalize it. It is, in his words, a sub-regional center of excellence. This, in order to benefit the 10 countries covered by the NSIA Foundation. In addition, the Foundation offered a coach to the pedagogical farm. The former leader of the Ivorian employers also announces a double cabin for the center. Its exit is welcomed with joy to Tshanfeto.


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