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YPARD 10 years Celebrations at the International Agronomy Congress

The year 2016 marks YPARD’s 10th anniversary, and there have been ongoing celebrations globally. Within the same breadth, YPARD India toyed around the idea of a grand celebration of the #YPARD10Years at the “4th International Agronomy congress”.  And with the support of YPARD Asia and Pacific, the idea became reality with an interesting twist to it given that the clelebrations were happening in a city where YPARD was launched officially in 2006. 

But first, lets talk about the conference, shall we?

The conference held from November 22-26, in New Delhi, India aimed to review the progress and work out strategies to meet the challenges of food, nutrition, environment and livelihoods security to achieve 'Zero Hunger Challenge' by generating new opportunities through agronomic research. 

Special Session- Youth and Agriculture: Challenges and Opportunities

The first day of the event was deidcated for YPARD delegates and other young professionals in the Special Session- “Youth and Agriculture: Challenges and Opportunities.”  The session started with the co-chairs of very honorable Dr. R. S. Paroda, Chairman of TAAS; Dr. Ramesh Kanwar, Chancellor of Lovely Professional University and Prof. Amir Kassam, Chairperson of ICAAP-Africa. Dr. Paroda also shared his memories on witnessing the YPARD launch 10 years ago in New Delhi and stressed the importance of youth in agriculture and supported the YPARD’s activities of encouraging youth in agriculture. 

Afterwards, Dr. Yashpal Saharawat, YPARD India representative convened the lead-speaker session with a presentation from Mr. Jim Leandro Cano, YPARD Philippines representative/Capacity Building and Policy officer at YPARD Asia and Pacific where he included YPARD Nepal, YPARD Philippines, and other countries activities with the way forward. Subsequently, Dr. Dong Yiwei, Deputy Representative of YPARD China discussed about Youth and Agriculture: China Perspective. He highlighted China’s agricultural achievements, key experiences in agricultural development, and agricultural transitions and youth participation in agriculture. Besides these, the session was filled with captivating presentations by the energetic young representatives from different institutions. 

And then the cake happened!

Happy Birthday YPARD!!

The celebrations started after the completion of the series of presentations. It was an honor to share the stage with Dr. Paroda for cake cutting along with Mr. Cano, Dr. Yiwei, Dr. Saharawat and YPARD members from India. The sharing of the cake with all these participants made it even more yummier.

Panel discussion 

After the jubiliation, the panel discussion started with . Mr. Ajay Vir Jakhar, facilitating as a moderator to a group of five members panelist: Mr. Vikas Choudhary, Mr. Sudhir Kumar Jha, Ms. Misha Madhvan, Dr. Devraj Arya, and myself. Our discussion focussed on Youth and Agriculture: Challenges and Opportunities and the panelists from India talked about the major challenges of youth in agriculture in India, importance of youth-entrepreneurship, rural youth empowerment and so on. 

Being a representative from Nepal, i raised the issue of youth unemployment and migration in Nepal. I also flagged the major initiatives  like the “Self-employment fund”  that he government has started to combat such challenges and those initiated by YPARD Nepal( “Edumala Mentoring Program” and “Storytelling Contest ) for Young Agri-entrepreneurs.” The session was very intense and interactive where the YPARD India members were actively participated in the discussion. 

India experience 

My first day in India was quite messy due to recent ban of Indian 500 and 1000 rupee note. But the second day when the Congress kicked off, I was in extreme contentment. We were very privileged to dine with very honorable Dr. Paroda who memorizes the day of YPARD launch back in 2006. He expressed his excitement for the Special Session and encouraged us to work on agricultural development. 

My gartitude goes to the YPARD Global unit, YPARD Asia and Pacific, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Dr. Sahararawat, Mr. Dinesh Panday-YPARD Nepal representative and the members of YPARD India without whom the YPARD celebration and my visit wouldn’t be possible.