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DuPont Partners with Global 4-H Network to Attract and Train Future SA Farmers

11 October 2011 - DuPont and 4-H, one of the world’s largest youth development organisations, today announced a partnership to strengthen youth development in rural South African communities, as well as promote skills development among future African farmers.

DuPont’s commitment of $2 million over the next two years will allow the global 4-H network to empower youth in Africa to create sustainable livelihoods and improve economic security for people across the continent. The global network will train South African and other African-based 4-H leaders and mentors about agricultural innovation and farming practices, and provide culturally relevant, research-based tools, expertise and resources that can be used at the local level.

Following a successful pilot in Tanzania that was recently completed, the global 4-H network will now launch a year-round, Leadership Institute for 4-H leaders and volunteers in South Africa, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania, starting in January 2012.

Additionally, 4-H will pilot an expansion of a gardening training program for school-based learning for youth, their families, and their communities. The Enterprise Gardens programs will teach youth to apply agricultural technologies, understand value chains and see their role in feeding the world.

“After walking the fields with many African farmers, I understand the urgent need to engage South African youth in agriculture, where pressures of food insecurity are greatest. The farmer who will feed the world over the decades to come is 13 years-old today. Empowering them to do so is a great responsibility for all of us,” said DuPont Executive Vice President James C. Borel, who serves as current chair of the National 4-H Council Board of Trustees.

“DuPont and 4-H share a belief that youth development is a key sustainability initiative to address global food security.

“Youth development is the world’s best long-term solution to ensure food security and global economic stability,” said Donald T. Floyd Jr., president and CEO of National 4-H Council. “4-H’s one hundred-year history in agricultural innovation and youth skill-building combined with an existing infrastructure in more than 70 nations, has uniquely positioned our organisation to equip millions of young people in developing nations with the skills needed to build a truly sustainable future.”

Sharing a similar global footprint, 4-H and DuPont plan to access local leadership to extend the program. 4-H programs have taken root in more than 70 countries, and DuPont has strong relationships with farming communities in more than 90 countries through its agriculture-based businesses.

Susan Naburi, CEO of Tanzania 4-H, said, “Our mission is to build a world in which youth can learn, grow and work together to become economically independent and responsible adults. We are excited and look forward to the increasing positive impact of the global 4-H network.”

“No single company or organisation can solve global food security alone. We are committed to being a part of the solution and we hope others will support programs like the global 4-H network to engage tomorrow’s agriculture leaders today,” says Borel.