Application Deadline: January 31, 2023.
The School Farm of the Year Competition was started in 2015 by the Blue Skies Foundation. It was launched in response to growing concern among Blue Skies farmers that not enough young people were going into agriculture. This raised the question, who would be the farmers of the future? Part of the problem was that young people were simply not interested in farming. With all the appeal of white collar jobs in the city, coupled with the association between farming and poverty, it was clear that agriculture was suffering from an image problem that was deterring the next generation of talent.
The aim of the School Farm Competition is therefore to help reverse this negative image by enabling schools to compete against each other to grow and manage their own school farms. Prizes are awarded to schools that produce the best farm in terms of how they engage with students in farming to promote active learning, and develop a positive attitude about food and agriculture, the environment, and entrepreneurialism.
Each year over 60 Schools and 3,000 students participate in the competition to become the Blue Skies School Farm of the Year.
The School Farm of the Year Competition is open to Junior High Schools and Senior High Schools in Ghana that are located in the areas where Blue Skies sources its fruit. These are Ashanti Region, Central Region, Eastern Region, Greater Accra, Volta Region and the Western Region.
- Schools apply by completing an online application form in January
- Team of judges select sixty schools to participate based on the strength of the answers provided in the form.
- In February, selected schools are provided with basic tools and equipment plus expert training on managing a school farm.
- Between February and March schools are expected to:
- Demarcate an area of land
- Grow crops as determined by a ballot
- Share progress reports and photos via the School Farm Whatsapp Group
- Develop a plan to sustain the school farm after the competition has finished.
A team of judges visit the schools periodically to provide support where needed and assess the performance of schools based on the following criteria:
- Evidence of Good Agricultural Practice throughout the competition
- Evidence of what has been learnt by the students
- Evidence of involvement by the students
- Evidence of engagement with the local community
- Evidence of how wildlife has been encouraged
- Evidence of a convincing and viable sustainability plan
Awards are presented at a special ceremony at the end of the year. Prizes such as computers and laptops are presented to schools in the following categories:
- SHS School Farm of the Year
- JHS School Farm of the Year
- SHS First Runner Up and 2nd Runner Up
- JHS First Runner Up and 2nd Runner Up
- Best SHS Female Student
- Best SHS Male Student
- Best JHS Female Student
- Best JHS Male Student
- Best JHS Teacher
- Best SHS Teacher
- Most Entrepreneurial School
- Most Committed School
- Most Innovative School
- Most Environmentally Friendly School
- Most Sustainable School
- Lemuel Mantey Agric Leadership Award
- Ruth Smith Adjei Special Recognition Award
- Dr. Anthony Pile Special Award.
Do your school have what it takes to generate the next Agricultural Entrepreneurs?