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Flash: Announcing the “YAP” finalists

Reblogged from the GFAR Blog

What was the “YAP” project all about, again?

In the run-up to the upcoming #GCARD3 global event, we announced “YAP”, the Youth Agripreneurs Project. “YAP” is a pilot project targeting young agricultural entrepreneurs or “agripreneurs” by GFAR (the Global Forum on Agricultural Research), CGIAR (the Global Agricultural Research Partnership) and YPARD (the Young Professionals for Agricultural Development).

Within “YAP” we want to encourage young agripreneurs from all over the world, to think about their projects and formulate their ideas in a concrete proposal. We also wanted to use our blog, as a platform where these entrepreneurs could showcase their projects, while encouraging feedback on their proposals through the comments on each proposal’s blogpost.

In addition, we wanted to show, to a wider audience, how many creative, inspiring and concrete ideas these young people had. Through the online voting process – determining the first selection -, we wanted to inspire young people to “just come out” with their ideas, and use the power of social media to network and advocate for their projects, now and in the future.

Within three weeks, we received 428 YAP proposals from youth around the globe. A first selection was done based on public voting on the proposals, as they were published on our blog.

428 “YAP” entries were MANY more than we initially anticipated. Also the way the online public picked up, and commented on these proposals was overwhelming: Over 116,000 people from all over the world read the proposals, and posted over 60,000 comments. Read more on the selection process and the entries that made it to the preselection.

Who are the finalists?

The jury selected the following as the finalists for the “YAP” project:

YAP proposal #130: Self-help Business Model in Harmony with Nature (Jony Girma, Ethiopia) (Funded by IFAD)

YAP Proposal #7: Climate Resilient Indian Cattle (Nikki Pilania Chaudhary, India) (Funded by a private donor)

YAP Proposal #37: The African Desert Greenhouse (Lillian Beauttah, Kenya) (Funded by Agropolis Fondation)

YAP Proposal #244: Smart Krishi mobile app (Anil Regmi, Nepal) (Funded by IFAD)

YAP proposal #62: Mechanical pest removal (Josine Macaspac, Philippines) (Funded by Agropolis Fondation)

The “Additional Prize for the Caribbean agripreneurs” went to:
YAP proposal #332: From Farm To Face: the Journey to Natural Skin Care (Kellyann Allicott, Barbados) (Funded by FAO Caribbean region)

A heartfelt congratulations to these finalists!

What do we provide to these finalists?

The agripreneurs selected as the finalists will get a US$5,000 seed fund to facilitate the startup of their project, spread over the period of one year.

During one year, we will mentor these young agripreneurs within their project, linking them with seasoned researchers and practitioners, by integrating them in the YPARD (Young Professionals for Agricultural Development) mentoring program.

We will also train them on new ways to advocate and network using innovative communication and networking tools.

The finalists will be invited to attend the #GCARD3 global event in Johannesburg, where they will receive their first induction training and have the opportunity to network with agricultural specialists from all over the world.

What more can we do to stimulate these young agripreneurs?

One of the main challenges we faced with “YAP”, is the unexpected high amount, and very high quality (and variety) of projects we received. While, unfortunately, only a few can be selected as finalist now, we will do our best to follow-up on the submitted proposals, in the months to come. We will do our utmost best to assist the agripreneurs in various ways, which we still need to explore.

These young agripreneurs deserve our support. And this is not just “us” being the organizers of the project, but “us”, the global community. We do need to step up our support, to encourage, stimulate and enable these young agriculturalists and entrepreneurs. They truly are the future of the world’s agriculture and our strive to provide food security for all, in a sustainable manner. We will, once again, do our best to work with the global community to further extend our support to youth working in agriculture.

If you are interested in sponsoring this project, please check out the details.

A big “Thank you” again to all youth who submitted their project, to the online public in responding with so many comments, to our donors, the jury, and all those involved in the project, who worked very long hours to process and publish the proposals.

“YAP” is a joint pilot project by GFAR, CGIAR and YPARD, in the run-up to the upcoming #GCARD3 global event. Follow the progress of this event via #GCARD3 on Twitter, the GFAR blog, the GFAR website and the CGIAR website.

Picture courtesy CCAFS