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10 May 2023

Roukaya Youssef, international volunteer interview

Roukaya Youssef, an international volunteer recruited as part of the CONVER project funded by Agropolis Fondation and Ademe within the framework of the CO3 program, talks about her experience in this participatory research project on co-composting in the south of La Réunion.

Can you introduce yourself in a few lines (educational and professional background)?
I am a young graduate in agricultural engineering from Agrocampus Ouest Angers. Before the CONVER project, my professional experience comes from different research internships carried out during my training, mainly on the study of alternative pest management methods in Mayotte, with CIRAD, and in La Réunion, with ARMEFLHOR.
What position, within this project funded by Agropolis Fondation, do you hold today (status, function, missions)?
I am a volunteer on the CONVER project. I am in charge of the implementation and follow-up of the different components of the project. My activities are varied, with the facilitation of workshops for the co-construction of an agro-ecological transition scenario with the actors of the study area, the production and monitoring of co-composting on the farm of livestock effluents and green waste shreds, and the testing of these co-composts in market gardening and in grassland. 
What did you learn in this position, particularly in terms of skills and partnerships?
This project being participative and multi-partner, I was able to improve my skills in relation to the implementation of collaborative workshops, I also benefited from a training on this subject which allowed me to have a reflexive analysis on the workshops carried out within the framework of the project. Since a large part of the project was devoted to experimentation, I was also able to develop my skills in managing experimental trials outside of the controlled environment of the experimental station.
Do you have a story or anecdote to tell that took place during your assignment?
This project has been rich in small anecdotes ranging from events impacting the cooperatives and the agricultural world of La Reunion, to the hurricane that nearly destroyed our experimental plots, to the loss of a car key in a field of more than one hectare; but instead of telling you one of these anecdotes, I would like to talk about a group of farmers who inspired me during this project. Indeed, these farmers, who had difficulties with the management of their wastewater, found several solutions, that they tested. By their own means, they applied innovative solutions (for La Reunion) which solved their problems.
What do you plan to do after the CONVER project?
After the end of my assignment, I would like to continue working in the field of agricultural biomass valorization. Having discovered the interesting potential of green waste shredding in La Réunion, I would like to participate in the development of its use in agriculture. I would like to stay in the field as close as possible to the farmers.