Speakers

Dara Salim

Ashoka Bénin

Through his organization, Solidarité Rurale (Rural Solidarity), Salim works to replace a broken agricultural education system by providing students with the practical experience, confidence, and resources they need to generate food and income from the natural resources around them.

Salim envisions a system of demonstration farms where students can learn through practical application rather than observation. His first demonstration farm (just outside Porto-Novo) uses an integrated model of produce, livestock, and fish farming with an attached market, to instill an appreciation for the natural connections and balance between ecosystems.

Unlike the conventional method of education, in which students first assimilate concepts for evaluation and obtain appropriate certification before starting field experience, Salim provides learners with technical and field expertise with their studies, so they have the practical skills employers want and experience needed to start their own farming businesses.