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Farming and Rural Youth at Cross-roads

Madan at a YPARD EventI believe that I am NEVER too young to start anything that strikes my mind at the first place. Do you believe so?

Visionary sustainable agricultural leadership

We all know where the sustainability of agriculture lies?  It’s clear that productivity of conventional agriculture won’t sustain. The resource saving agricultural system meeting the growing food demand ensuring nutritional and environmental safety with inclusive participation of resource poor, marginalized, rural youth, women and family farmers are of prime concern today. Today’s youth are dynamic; they are critical thinker on what their future holds. There are networks of youth that come together, talk with their shared vision for their position in innovative sustainable agricultural development. I am optimistic for one reason because youth like us are catalyst of change; we deserve a better future where we have better position to bring limelight in the agricultural interventions.  Behind responsibilities youth sees opportunities and innovations to meet the growing demands as job creator rather than job seekers.

Mainstreaming Youth in GCARD3 Agendas

Farmers were the most healthier person among any professionals because they used to play with healthier soil and have healthier food but now in contrary farmers are being more vulnerable. The youth’s charm in taking farming as profession is decreasing. To change this status quo, effective mentorship, entrepreneurship development and networking; linking youth with regional and global knowledge and innovations is essential. The threats of declining youth’s interest in agriculture have been recognized globally since 2006 during the global conference organized by the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) in New Delhi, India. The movement of youth with establishment of different youth networks like YPARD has proven that youth are also major stakeholders when it comes to food and agricultural sustainability. I believe Global Conference on Agriculture Research for Development (GCARD3) is a perfect place where not only the issues but also the opportunities of youth will be mainstreamed with actionable strategy and solutions. The voices of youth from diverse sectors has synergistic effect in shaping the roadmap for present and next generation of youth engagement in agriculture.

Ensuring Better Rural Future

I represent youth of the rural village of Nepal where I spent my early childhood in orchard and in the farm. Situation is different now than before, where land is left barren, cultivable land are being transformed into forest and monkey population is exceeding the human population due to migration. I here represent an idea, a possibility for rural youth movement setting an example being an entrepreneur. I would like to accept the challenge that being in Nepal, I can be the best. I would like to link the global agriculture innovation system to the grassroots level. What fuels me every day is to innovate platform for rural youth where they can live their life happily.  Both farming and rural youth in Nepal are at cross-roads which needs transformation through enhancement in innovation, capacity development, partnership and participatory approach for enhanced skills and attitude.

Growing as a youth leader

Working in dynamic YPARD platform as local representative from Nepal, our team has shown outstanding abilities in bringing youth’s insights together by organizing different national level programs and capacity/awareness raising programs. Being ardent in digital online medias, I got chance to excel myself through YPARD 7 months long Web4Knowledge Intern under Global Coordination Unit. As an auto driven autodidact in web designing and social media management, with support of GFAR, YPARD and CGIAR I got wonderful opportunity to participate in Technical Online Communicators Meeting (#TOCS2014). This opportunity provided me an ample of space for putting forward my knowledge, ideas together into practice. I took a lead as event-coordinator in YPARD Nepal Family Farming Photo Contest, where our efforts to disseminate the message of Family Farming and its Importance was successful reaching out to more than 35000 user groups. Besides, the synergy between AgriYouthNepal (network I am leading as president sensitizing youth and ICTs in agriculture) and YPARD Nepal is being able to give new dimension excelling university education system.

I am encouraged to grab this opportunity to connect the dots at different level from advocating for better youth engagement in agriculture at different forums, sensitizing the use of Information Communication Technologies in agriculture establishing myself as an entrepreneur. Importantly, participating at GCARD3, I would like to contribute being an onsite reporter synthesizing different skillsets of blog writing, video production and reaching out the messages of GCARD3 to target audiences using social medias. Further, I believe it will strengthen my leadership abilities, energize to work further, learn and expand the global network and evolve more as a global citizen. 

This blog post is part of the GCARD3 Youth blogpost applications. The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.

 

Picture Credits: Sagar Pandey/AgriYouthNepal