17.05.2012 0 Comments
Junior African Ministers and International Development Students toured Bucks rural business
This week Junior African Ministers and International Development Students toured Bucks rural business with Nick Phillips the LEADER Programme Manager.
The Royal Agricultural College supports a programme of international development to encourage international sharing of best practice in rural economic development. Many of the team are ministers in agriculture from a range of African countries such as Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique and Malawi. The group are in Buckinghamshire keen to see how farmers in Bucks have diversified and if there are any ideas that can be utilised in their own countries.
David Campbell the Chairman of the African Fellowship Trust said “When these folks see what is being done by farmers here with LEADER rural grants, it gives them ideas for managing rural grants in their own country.”
The group came to see Barry Parslow of Parslow Apieries and asked endless questions about the process and how it could be transferred to Africa. One fellow said he could see the link between better arable production and better bee keeping and felt that many communities in his own country could benefit from some small investment in equipment. When visiting Chiltern Ridge Apple Juice in Chartridge another member of the team thought that the processing and pasteurisation of fruit may be a good project for a Nigerian schools and community business.
“They always ask such interesting questions. They area a really committed group and I am pleased to think we are helping with projects overseas.” Said Franca and Evert Donker of Chiltern Ridge Apple Juice.
“It is really interesting to hear how the projects can be transferable to other parts of the world. Just one of these chaps can influence national policy and could make a massive difference to hundreds of rural communities. They have a real interest in the practical and financial implications of LEADER projects.” Said Nick Phillips, LEADER Programme Manager .
The group visited Meads Farm in Marsworthy to look at how Simon Meads turns rape seed plants into cooking oil high in omega 3 and then to Town Farm in Ivinghoe to see how Charles Leach of Town Farm has turned his farming assets into a camp site and holiday cottage project.
The group left with some really interesting ideas of how some really innovative rural businesses in Bucks may operate in Africa.
Contact for more information: Nick Phillips 01494 568 969
What is LEADER?
LEADER is a European rural grant that is available to farmers and rural businesses in the Chilterns. The grant is focused on micro businesses who wish to expand or purchase capital equipment. Each award can be up to £50,000 and is match funded by 50% by the business owner.
There is still £1,000,000 available to be awarded.