Living quarters for the participants of an "agro-bootcamp" are see in Tori-Bossito.
Machetes in hand and wearing a straw hat against the sun, the participants of an "agro-bootcamp" in the farmlands of the West African nation of Benin harvest maize, cowpeas and rice.
"Cut at the base," says Oluwafemi Kochoni, an organic farming teacher, who runs the agricultural workshop to prepare young people for a future sustainably working the land.
"Then leave the plants in place, we will bury them — they will decompose and fertilise the soil."
It's beginner's advice but the programme in Tori-Bossito, just outside Benin's economic capital Cotonou, aims to teach basic, traditional ways of agriculture to those who have forgotten or never known a life on the land.
In Benin, a poor country next to oil giant Nigeria, some 80 percent of its 11 million people depend on agriculture, according to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Most are subsistence farmers eking out a living growing crops on small plots where a lack of infrastructure and flooding that can wipe out harvests and seed stocks are key challenges, the FAO warns.
But the "agro-bootcamps" — the name is borrowed from the intensive training of the US army — take place close to the suburbs of the city and are aimed at a different market.
They are part of a wider movement to encourage self-sufficiency on the continent, which has some two-thirds of the world's remaining uncultivated arable land — but spends $64.5 billion a year importing food, according to the African Development Bank.
Like in traditional farming, the agro-bootcamp way of life is communal on the three-hectare (seven-acre) plot of land put at its disposal for the week by a family in exchange for baskets of vegetables.
On the edge of the fields, a border hedge of moringa plants and grasses are grown to help stabilise the soil.
Tomatoes are grown at an "agro-bootcamp," in Tori-Bossito, just outside Benin's economic capital Cotonou.
There is also a fish farm in a pond, and another area to grow mushrooms.
Behind the scheme is the Gardens of Hope, an organisation promoting sustainable ways of farming.
"The advice usually received by farmers is based on the use of chemicals," said participant Rachidi Idrissou, an agronomy student in Benin.
Benin is a youthful country; nearly two-thirds of the population is aged under 25.
Of the 85 people who have taken part in the last two bootcamps, 10 have already launched new agricultural activities, farms or enterprises, according to organisers.
Social networks mean that participants and organisers can stay in touch for support as they develop their farms and small businesses.
Participants farm in ways farmers did before the massive movement of people to the cities.
"Initially, it was an alternative to conventional farming, to return to ancestral methods with the respect of the environment," said Kochoni.
"Then it became a way of life, and a philosophy."
"With nature, you have everything at your fingertips," Bass said, enthusing about how manure means chemical fertilisers are not needed.
"I have made a great discovery," he added.
The recent years have seen an alarming increase in forest fires across India. According to the Real Time Forest Alert System of the Forest Survey of India (FSI), the number of forest fires shot up to 14,107 from 4,225 between November 2018 and February 2019.The Forest Alert System is part of the Large Forest Fire Monitoring Programme
When Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez released her Green New Deal in February, the plan was a bit disappointing — too focused on the US instead of on the world as a whole, too willing to dish out lavish new entitlements, not focused enough on research and technology, too dismissive of the private sector and too vague on how to pay for it all.
The danger posed by single-use plastic products to human and animal health should never be underestimated. United Nations officials have been repeatedly urging everyone to give up the use of single-use plastic products such as disposable cutlery, water bottles, food containers and shopping bags.
The honour for the UAE at the Cannes Film Festival is clear-cut evidence of the fact that it is spearheading a radical shift in attitudes towards ecological issues. The UAE was named Country of Honour 2019, a distinction conferred by the Monaco Better World Forum, MBWF, a global platform of thought leaders and influencers
Instagram started hiding "likes" on its platform, saying it wanted to ease pressure on users, following criticism about its impacts on mental health.
Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday declared the Ebola virus disease outbreak in Congo a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
A special exhibition celebrates the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria and marks this year's Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace in London, Britain.