ECHOcommunity Updates

ECHOcommunity Member Spotlight: Sipasi Olalekan Ayodele 2017-01-04

Sipasi Olalekan Ayodele is the most recent recipient of the Africa Youth Award for Agriculture. The CEO of L’Afrika Integrated Farms and ProtectOzone in Nigeria, he was nominated for the award based on his implementation of the Foundations for Farming methods, and for innovations at his poultry farm. Using locally available herbal alternatives he is demonstrating how to avoid the synthetic micronutrients in commercial poultry feed. Contamination in these feed products are linked to nearly a half-million deaths each year. L’Afrika Integrated Farms, and those they have trained, are seeing decreased livestock mortality and improvements in the health and wellbeing of their consumers.

I see Agriculture more as a gift of nature, to keep the world stay active and alive – imagine a world without agriculture, it’s a world in extinction. Every other thing in the world can be seasonal / occasional, but you need me (a farmer) three times daily, hence agriculture is lucrative.

Sipasi started farming at 9 years old with just a cock and a hen given by his grandparents. With careful management, he quickly multiplied his flock into the hundreds. When he moved to Lagos for secondary school he was no longer able to raise chickens, but had not lost his love of animals and livestock management. One of the punishments at school was to work with the pigs and poultry, in order to spend more time with the animals Sipasi would get into trouble on purpose. This activity didn’t lead to academic excellence until his final years at university when he finally got to do some practical, hands-on training and began to amaze his professors. Sipasi now holds a master’s degree in animal science from the University of Ibidan.

On his way to the ECHO Forum in 2015, Sipasi heard an announcement that the airline would be planting some trees in Ethiopia to combat climate change, and decided that the same needed to be done in his country. “The thought of saving our environment to curb climate change through planting of trees stirred me up as an Agriculturalist.” Upon returning home he volunteered with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) Nigeria for 13 months and began advocacy campaigns, trainings, and distribution of tree seeds to combat erosion and climate change in rural communities. This lead to the founding of ProtectOzone in a bid to “mobilize citizen consciousness in protecting the ozone layer through trainings, advocacies, peer education, innovation, mentoring, establishment of sustainable demonstration farms, awareness raising, resources development, and increased knowledge of civic responsibilities.”

Altogether, Sipasi has distributed over 25,000 tree seeds, has planted over 850 trees across Nigeria, and has trained over 4,000 people in sustainable agricultural practices.

In addition to the 2016 Africa Youth Award for Agriculture, Sipasi has been named an ambassador for the country of Nigeria to the Young African Leaders Initiative, an ambassador for Go Green in the City, a Social Innovators Fellow of LEAP Africa, and a Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum “the worlds largest youth organization of active citizens influencing their communities positively.” Sipasi counts his ECHOcommunity active development worker membership to be one of his most valuable titles: “ECHO was the height of my exposure to the benefits of sustainable agriculture, it gave me the very first platform to share my experience with the world during the East African Symposium in Arusha.”

Success is not by chance; it can only come through taking informed decisions and be committed to your dreams. Failures are not meant to discourage but build us.

Meet Sipasi – Youth’s of West Africa interview and farm tour on YouTube

About ECHOcommunity

ECHOcommunity is a membership community that provides access to nearly all of ECHO’s resources online, as well as communications tools to help development workers connect with each other.

Read more

Upcoming events

Tropical Agricultural Development I: The Basics
Mon, 16 January 2017 » Fri, 20 January 2017

ECHO Campus, United States

Course Description: Those interested in preparing for short/long-term involvement in agricultural development internationally  are encouraged to participate in this one-week course held four times a year. Course participants will gain an introduction to aspects of poverty and community development and an orientation to ECHO. They will also receive instruction on proven agricultural principles/practices and practical techniques, systems and technologies to meet agricultural and nutritional nee...

ECHO East Africa Symposium - February 2017
Tue, 7 February 2017 » Thu, 9 February 2017

Naura Springs Hotel - Arusha, Tanzania

Invitation to ECHO East Africa  Symposium 7th-9h February, 2017 in Arusha, Greetings! You are cordially invited to join us for the ECHO East Africa Symposium 2017. We hope that you will make time to gather with us at this very important and effective meeting. It will be a valuable time of learning, information sharing and networking for those working and serving in the East Africa Region. This symposium will be held at the Naura Springs Hotel in Arusha. Those who register before 1 Janua...

Northwest Myanmar Agriculture and Community Development Workshop
Tue, 7 February 2017 » Fri, 10 February 2017

Myanmar Baptist Convention, Republic of the Union of Myanmar


Bamboo Basics: Production, Preservation, and Construction
Tue, 7 February 2017 » Fri, 10 February 2017

ECHO Global Farm, USA

With over 1,000 different species of bamboo in the world, the plant remains essential source of food, implements, and construction materials. In this hands-on workshop participants will be exposed to dozens of useful tropical varieties of bamboo. They will gain practical insights related to the propagation of various types of bamboo, as well as basic production approaches. Additionally, participants will explore harvesting and preservation methods and construction techniques.   ECHO DOE...

ECHO Sierra Leone Forum 2017
Tue, 28 February 2017 » Thu, 2 March 2017

Hill Valley Hotel, Sierra Leone

Event Rescheduled! We are excited to announce that the first ECHO Sierra Leone Forum has a new date in February. We are pleased to inform you that ECHO is organizing a forum on sustainable agriculture in Freetown. This ECHO forum aims the bring knowledge and to strengthen networking for the benefit of people fighting against hunger, poverty and those serving the poor in Africa trough agriculture and appropriate technologies. Plenary sessions will be conducted during three morning...

Latest Resources

Les Fondements du Developpement Agricole: Chapitre 1 du Livre Options Agricoles Pour les Agriculteurs de Petite Echelle

Cette publication est le chapitre 1 de livre Options Agricoles pour les Agriculteurs de Petite Echelle est un livre rempli d'options pratiques pour ceux qui travaillent pour aider les petits agriculteurs et les jardiniers ur...

Elementos Fundamentales Del Desarrollo Agrícola:Capítulo 1 de Opciones para Los Agricultores de Pequeña Escala

Esta publicación es el Capítulo 1 de Opciones para los agricultores de pequeña escala es un libro lleno de opciones prácticas para aquellos que trabajan para ayudar a los agricultores a pequeña escala y jardineros urbanos en...

Fundamentals of Agricultural Development: Chapter 1 of Agricultural Options for Small-Scale Farmers

This publication is Chapter 1 of Agricultural Options for Small-Scale Farmers, a book filled with practical options for those working to assist small-holder farmers and urban gardeners in the tropics and subtropics, many of ...

Tithonia for green manure; Seed saving workshop

Tithonia (Tithonia diversifolia), also known as Mexican sunflower or tree marigold, is a perennial shrub that is native to Mexico and Central America. Often introduced for its attractive flowers, it is now found in humid and...

SRI Transplanting Tools

This article contains diagrams of the SRI Rolling Marker, Rotary Weeder, and Grass Cutter discussed in other articles from Echo Asia Note 21.

SRI Roller Planting Marker

Wanpen’s roller planting marker was developed from her experience. When a problem occurred, she would alter and develop the tool according to the problem and rice variety.

Wanpen’s tool was designed to be lightweig...

2016 ECHO International Agriculture Conference Topic Summaries

This article summarizes several of the plenary sessions presented at the 2016 ECHO conference in Florida. If you were unable to attend the conference, or would like to review some of the talks, many of them can be viewed on ...

How to Facilitate Seed Exchanges During Country Meetings or as a Single-Day Event

Since 2011, ECHO Asia has developed and facilitated seed exchange events during meetings with local partners. Through conversations with farmers and NGO staff, we have gained better insight about locally-important plant vari...

The Crop Genetic Pump: A Possible Task for NGOs

Editor: Dr. Dick Tinsley is an Emeritus Professor with Colorado State University. With decades of experience as an advisor to smallholder agriculture development projects, he was worked in numerous locations across Asia and ...

Women and Agriculture

Gender dynamics in relation to agriculture is a big topic, and one we have not previously written about in EDN. Yet in recent years, widespread attention has been paid to the disparity that often exists between men and women...