Within two weeks, 96 young professionals from every region of the world applied to be part of the GCARD3 Global event’s youth delegation. The team will be given the mission to be the voice of the youth: to be part of the discussions online and onsite, to solicit their peers to contribute with their own input, and to particularly express those youth specific aspirations, challenges, needs and opportunities they see for the youth to be active agents of change for agricultural developments at all levels.
14 young enthusiasts were selected. In the spirit of the GCARD3 as a global and multi-stakeholder platform, the team represents several regions of the world and different domains of expertise related to agriculture: from food security and nutrition, environment and climate change, agro-ecology, youth empowerment and capacity development, communications and ICTs, anthropology to conflict resolutions and agribusiness – from research to practice. Some of them took part in the GCARD3 national and regional consultations and will contribute to bring the outcomes of the discussions into the global event. We are pleased to welcome representatives from IAAS, GAEA, YPARD, IITA youth agripreneurs, to cite a few, for GCARD3 Global Event will be a space for discussions on how youth-led initiatives and their supporters can join forces better and work collectively towards youth-in-agriculture empowerment for agricultural development.
The delegation will benefit from a 3day training on social media and will play a key role as social reporters during the GCARD3 global conference. In order to assess our candidates’ communications flair and aspirations about the GCARD3 process, we asked them to submit a blog post as a means for expression of interest. Outstanding storytellers and bloggers were unveiled. The selected people were able to show their insights about GCARD3 as a process. We warmly congratulate the 96 young professionals who shared their stories and thoughts; check our YPARD Community Blog section for all the candidates’ blog posts.
Presenting YPARD’s 14 selected youth delegates:
Farirai Mageza is the Founder and current Coordinator of Youth Agrarian Society: a not-for-profit organization that facilitates youth’s participation in land access and sustainable use of such land for farming. He is an agronomist by training who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture (Crop Science major) from the University of Zimbabwe. He is a Zimbabwean who is currently working and living in the country.
Giovanna Michelotto is a Brazilian currently working at FAO, in Italy, on a project related to voluntary standards that aim to strengthen the value chain of products having a specific quality denomination related to their origin. She holds a food engineering degree from Brazil and two European masters: one to develop and promote local and traditional food products and the second one about the policies and innovations to build sustainable food systems around the world.
Hervé Bondonga is a consultant with NGOs in DRC, volunteer at Bridge Initiative and an IITA’s youth Agripreneur. Hervé grows hectares of manioc, fruits and vegetables such as livestock. With IITA agripreneurs, he focuses on the value chain of manioc and mushroom cultivation. Hervé was one of the youth representatives in the GCARD3 national consultations in DRC.
Latoya Lewis is a young woman from Trinidad and Tobago; however, she resides in Kingston, Jamaica. She holds a Master’s Degree in Agricultural Entrepreneurship and a Bachelor’s Degree in Agribusiness from the University of the West Indies (Jamaica and Trinidad campuses, respectively). She is employed as a Value Chain Manager (with management responsibility for an Agriculture Food Park) to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Jamaica Agricultural Competitiveness Programme in Kingston, Jamaica.
Rustam A. Ibragimov is a Graduate of Westminster International University in Tashkent, Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He is an Assistant of CACAARI Executive Secretary and an active member of YPARD Uzbekistan. He was one of the participants of the Bishkek’s Social Reporting team in the framework of GCARD3 regional consultations.
Mariola Acosta is a Spanish PhD candidate at Wageningen University and a Research Fellow at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture. Currently based in Uganda, her research interests include gender and climate change adaptation and youth engagement in agriculture and agro-biodiversity conservation. She represents the Spanish Chapter for the Young Professionals for Agricultural Development network (YPARD) and is a co-founder of the youth-led Global AgroEcology Alliance (GAEA) initiative.
Mohammadreza Davari is from Iran. He started volunteering with NGOs since he was 18 years old, and selected agriculture as field of study due to interest in nature and plants. After receiving a master's degree in agronomy in 2004, he went to India to study at PhD level. Title of his dissertation was “organic cropping systems” conducted in Indian Agricultural Research Institute. After graduation in 2010, in addition to research collaboration with universities, he engaged in voluntary activities to develop agriculture in Iran, particularly eco-friendly agriculture. Reza is the Iran Representative of YPARD and Program Officer of YPARD Asia and Pacific.
Natalie Orentlicher is the Communications Fellow at CGIAR’s Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems in the Greater Mekong, based in Vientiane, Laos. She finds and promotes the stories of those most impacted by water, land, and environmental issues. Natalie recently graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.S. in Biology, concentrating in Ecology and Evolution, before beginning her fellowship. She has previously worked for a community-supported agriculture program in the US and a rural nutrition program in Cambodia.
Robert Kibaya is a Science Technologist in Biological Sciences by Profession with formal education in Conflict Analysis, Negotiation and Conflict Management. He is the Executive Director and Founder of a local NGO Kikandwa Rural Communities Development Organization – KIRUCODO; Co-Founder and Director of Youths In Technology and Development –Uganda; NetSquared-Uganda Tech Organizer. He is a Ugandan, living and working in Uganda and an outstanding online contributor within YPARD SMT (social media team).
Ratih Nawangwulan is a Clean Up Jakarta Day Coordinator and Control Council National Committee of IAAS Indonesia: International Association of students in Agricultural and related Sciences. She is based in Jakarta and Surakarta and quite doing a lot of travelling to other parts of Indonesia to explore the beauty and the agricultural potential. She is committed to preserving nature and eradicating poverty through environmental awareness and village empowerment programmes.
Sergio Urioste Daza was born in Cochabamba, Bolivia and studied at La Paz. He graduated as Engineer in Environment and Development. He was a research assistant at Louisiana State University and at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. He is currently enrolled in an International Master for Rural Development at the University of Gent and volunteer with the Red Sea Environmental Centre in Egypt. He is also member of the honor society Sigma Gamma Delta agriculture and of the World Youth Alliance.
Maya Turolla is a trained anthropologist (BA an MSc) currently working on a PhD in Political Sciences, with a research project on youth agripreneurship (policies and practices) in Uganda and Rwanda. Her PhD is part of a partnership programme between the University of Bologna (which gives her the opportunity to spend time in her beloved home country, Italy) and the Radboud University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands (her country of residence).
Tarek Amin has an agro-ecology degree from the Norwegian Univeristy of life sciences NMBU. He was born in Egypt with a passion for history, architecture and food traditions worldwide. He is currently working as a Research assistant in the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in Italy, for responsible food innovation. Tarek is also collaborating with FIAN Norway as a volunteer.
Michelle Kovacevic is a freelance communicator, science journalist, project manager and facilitator working at the nexus of agriculture, forestry, rural livelihoods and climate change. Michelle coordinates the YPARD’s mentoring program and co-founded the Youth in Landscapes Initiative which sees 18-35 year olds work on solutions to the world’s most pressing land use challenges. Michelle will help the team from within by contributing to the peer-mentoring and coaching of the selected participants.
These 14 young participants' team will soon welcome the YAP - young agripreneurs project -'s finalists and the youth speakers and representatives invited to the GCARD3 sessions and partner assembly. All of them with represent the "GCARD3 Global event's Youth delegation". Stay tuned.