News Americas, WASHINGTON, DC, Fri. Feb. 1, 2019: A single Caribbean national was this year chosen to be a 2019 fellow of The Aspen Institute’s New Voices Fellowship, which is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Open Societies Foundation.
He is Kapil Mohabir of Guyana. Mohabir is also managing partner and head grower, Plympton Farms, dubbed as the largest grower, aggregator, and processor of chili peppers in the Caribbean, was chosen along with fellows from Ethiopia, Egypt, Guatemala, Lebanon, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Rwanda, Niger, Kenya, Indonesia, India, Ghana, South Africa, Nigeria, India, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Mohabir first has wanted to help smallholder farmers as a boy and when his family was forced to abandon their first home along the coast of Guyana due to flooding, his parents left their jobs as teachers and became inland farmers.
Quickly he became a first-hand witness to the limited economic opportunities and day-to-day hardships of a cash crop farmer. After completing an MBA at Harvard University, Mohabir returned to Guyana where he set out to build a farming business that would build local economic sustainability while helping farmers combat the limited local market. Today, his six-year-old company provides economic opportunities that help to empower smallholder farmers and indigenous communities.
Going beyond revenue and growth, his business model focuses on alleviating rural poverty through partnerships and employment of indigenous small farmers.
The 2019 class of the New Voices Fellowship represents 17 countries across Africa, Latin America, and Asia, making it the most diverse Fellowship class yet.
They will undertake a program of intensive media training and mentorship to reach a broader global audience through both traditional and new media, as well as speaking engagements. The 2019 class also marks the start of a new, three-year Aspen initiative for Fellows who focus on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).
Application to the Fellowship is by nomination only, and nominations will open in August 2019 for the next class.