April 2, 2024

2024 SISF winner Kaumi Muhammad, a native of Borno State, Nigeria, hit the ground running with his social impact project. He recently held a farming workshop with the vibrant Nguro Suye community in Nigeria. He expressed gratitude for having had the privilege to lead this transformative session. It equipped local farmers with sustainable farming techniques that are not only environmentally friendly but also economically viable.

A recent graduate of the University of Maiduguri, Muhammad studied Agriculture and Agricultural Economics. This background is conducive to his SISF project, which is rooted in sustainable agricultural practices for farmers. In discussing professional goals, a fierce dedication to his work was evident. They included addressing challenges with agricultural practices in his home country, Nigeria, and beyond. “Professionally, I aim to conduct research that informs policy and practice, collaborate with local communities, and advocate for gender-inclusive approaches to ensure the empowerment of women in achieving food security and economic resilience.” Furthermore, we examined his academic goals. “I aspire to pursue an MSc in Sustainable Agricultural Development which is my immediate academic goal. It will equip me with the interdisciplinary knowledge and skills necessary to devise innovative solutions for sustainable agriculture.”

His project is for certain, in alignment with his goals. “[It is] focused on promoting sustainable micro-home vegetable gardens and raising awareness on climate-smart agriculture which aims to address agricultural challenges exacerbated by climate change in Northeastern Nigeria,” he said. It was clear from our conversation, that education lives at the heart of Muhammad’s work. “I plan to achieve this by organizing workshops for local farmers and establishing a field school to demonstrate climate-smart vegetable gardening techniques. The project seeks to empower women with valuable skills and resources to practice vegetable farming in their backyard which will promote nutritious diets, and contribute to sustainable agriculture and environmental conservation.”

Muhammad’s plans have already begun to come to fruition. He has “conducted two days of climate-smart vegetable farming workshops and established the Nguro Suye Vegetable Farmers Field School. [We] demonstrated resilience and adaptation techniques for vegetable micro-home gardening.” We are so proud! 

It was delightful to hear Muhammad’s reflections on his experience in the Aspire Leader’s Program. The clear impact and empowerment shine through today. “The Aspire Leaders Program has profoundly impacted me, offering invaluable insights and resources to strengthen my leadership skills and catalyze social transformation,” he said. “Through this program, I have forged connections with peers and mentors who share my passion, inspiring and guiding me along the path to becoming a more effective leader.”

Kaumi Muhammad is one of 29 Social Impact Seed Funding winners who have received funding for their projects this year. He expressed to us his gratitude for the opportunity. “The funding has been a stepping stone in enabling me to implement key activities of my project, including conducting workshops and establishing the field school.” he said.  “It has provided the necessary financial support to reach out to local farmers and empower them with climate-smart agricultural practices.”


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