“Shut up ? It’s time to open it!” With Aqui Ba Pla, Simon Sabathier

“Shut up ? It’s time to open it!”  With Aqui Ba Pla, Simon Sabathier

Born in Saint-Affrique in 2001, originally from Combret, student in Toulouse, Simon Sabathier has just won the Social Cup with his project called Aqui Ba Pla. DR

Originally from Combret, the 23-year-old young man organizes free visits to help people discover the reality of agricultural professions. With his project, he won numerous competitions, including the Social Cup.

His slogan: "Shut up ? It's time to open it!". Its credo: "Raise awareness among the general public of the issues and problems of the agricultural world". Aqui Ba Pla thus voluntarily organizes visits to farms intended to introduce people to the reality of agricultural professions, to strengthen the social ties of farmers, to promote rural territories.

Behind this very young association, launched in April 2023, there is Saint-Affricain Simon Sabathier, student at Toulouse school of management (TSM) in the Pink City. Currently a student-entrepreneur in a gap year for the master 2 "strategy and international management”, he benefits, in the Toulouse establishment, from an educational environment that promotes creativity and development. entrepreneurship.

With this initiative, he won several competitions, five in total: National Nugget Prize, Regional Nugget Prize, eco-awards, Petit Poucet and, very recently, the Social Cup, French Cup for young entrepreneurs social.

"I feel like I'm living a daydream"

Aqui Ba Pla has enjoyed great success throughout this formula. After gathering more than 1,600 votes in the semi-final, the project achieved an absolute record: gathering 700 public votes in just eight minutes! "I feel like I'm living a waking dream. Everything that happens is a surprise. It’s quite incredible how far we’ve come in just one year, marvels the creator. it was really close to my heart and, sincerely, the reality on the ground exceeds my most optimistic predictions.

Born in 2001 in Saint-Affrique, Simon Sabathier grew up in the village of Combret, in a family of farmers (grandfather, uncles, aunts…), and he is "very marked" by this environment. These roots are not unrelated to the birth of Aqui Ba Pla.

More than 1,000 visitors in less than a year

"In my region, but we could very well broaden the reflection, I noticed that no farm was open to the public. When talking with the farmers, it turned out that it was more due to lack of time than desire, confirms the student. And the existing support systems do not suit them: they are aimed more at those who wish to make tourism an important lucrative activity on the farm. However, the majority of farmers in the Monts, Rance and Rougier community of communes only wish to open their farm occasionally.

The association therefore offers, free of charge, personalized support for each farmer: visit dates adapted to their schedule, help in creating a program and activities attractive, communication to inform the public, management of reservations…

In one year of existence, Aqui Ba Pla already has nine partner farms in South Aveyron and has organized more than thirty visits, or around 500 visitors. She also orchestrated a first Rendez-vous à la ferme weekend, with 370 people welcomed over two days. "With visits, tastings or a meal, a game to discover Aveyron", rejoices Simon Sabathier. Which would like "to develop activities in the off-season, in particular by welcoming schoolchildren, and to spread the project on a larger scale".

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