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Hydroponic Farmer To Use $120K Climate Finance To Help Educate Youths

Hydroponic Farmer Rinesh Sharma has secured $120,000 from Adaptation Fund Climate Innovation Accelerator, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Asia.
07 Aug 2022 20:08
Hydroponic Farmer To Use $120K Climate Finance To Help Educate Youths
Rinesh Sharma at his farm.

Hydroponic Farmer Rinesh Sharma has secured $120,000 from Adaptation Fund Climate Innovation Accelerator, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Asia.

Under the Ministry of Agriculture for climate adaptation and resilience practices, the climate finance will be used to educate and empower 150 youths.

Background

Mr Sharma studied to become an engineer at SVCET College of Engineering and Technology in India, but decided to become a farmer using his engineering knowledge.

Smart Farms Fiji Foundation chief executive officer Rinesh Sharma.

Smart Farms Fiji Foundation chief executive officer Rinesh Sharma.

The 29-year-old has never regretted making that decision and has been a hydroponic farmer for three years and 10 months.

He is the founder and chief executive officer of Smart Farms Fiji Foundation, where he leads the development of new technologies redefining interactions with food in order to improve food security and nutrition in Fiji.

His career has been focused on developing sustainable urban systems that prioritise small-scale interventions to create large-scale impact.

Climate grants

“At this year’s Gobeshona Global Conference, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and partners of the Adaptation Fund Climate Innovation Accelerator (AFCIA) announced US$2.2million in climate action grants for 22 local innovators across 19 countries,” Mr Sharma said.

“Smart Farms Fiji Foundation is one of the 22 successful recipients out of 383 applicants in the world. The objective is to use these climate funds and train the clusters under the Ministry of Youth and Sports. We are yet to get a final approval from them for this partnership.

“The first round of funding through the AFCIA window will enhance local climate action and accelerate the delivery of targets outlined in the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals. The initiative empowers local actors and contributes to the principles for locally led adaptation action, which have been endorsed by UNDP and partners around the world.”

He said being a farmer took immense strategic planning and execution to be able to grow crops in a geographical area prone to unprecedented natural calamities.

“Being a farmer is one of the most difficult shoes to get into. There isn’t any disadvantage to farming if you are passionate about it. You fail, you learn, you grow. That’s when passion drives.”

The former Natabua High School student hopes to conquer the entire Pacific with his initiatives.

“To me, Farming is not a career, it is rather a blessing. I left software engineering to be an urban farmer.

“Yes, my farms are automated, but I immensely enjoy the farming way more. I am automatically compelled to be at my farm every single day.”

Feedback: wati.talebula@fijisun.com.fj



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