The world is changing. So are the food systems.
And now more than ever, the world needs young people proactively contributing to innovative, environmentally and economically sustainable food systems. It seeks fresh ideas, renewed knowledge and partnerships across disciplines, geographies and generations. The YPARD community is best placed in grooming and nurturing the next generation of farmers, researchers, entrepreneurs, scientists, industrialists and extension workers best placed to develop ideas, restore knowledge and catalyze cross-disciplinary partnerships.
This is the basis upon which the new YPARD strategic directions 2018-2021 lies. With the network Business Plan 2014- 2018 coming to a close, YPARD initiated a set of actions to determine the next course of the network’s direction. The two major events included; an external review in the spring of 2017 that examined the overall evolutions and performance of the network and provided recommendations regarding priorities for future actions; and a strategic planning meeting at Czech University of life sciences in March 2018.
Building on lessons learned from YPARD’s operations in the past 11 years, the 2018-2021 and through a participatory process, the YPARD community identified four key aims that will continue to define the success of the YPARD network now and beyond! These aims included two strategic aims; to be a key influencer in the strategic direction of youth engagement in sustainable food systems; and enable young people in agriculture shape sustainable food systems. The two support aims included; to ensure long term sustainability of YPARD; and be an innovative and supportive global team. With these aims, YPARD aspires to continue its model of a decentralized movement constituting of young professionals, senior professionals, partners, country chapters and advisors all working together in a formal/ informal role over the next five years and reflects our collective vision for the future.
A heartfelt thank you to the members and supporters who took part in the strategic planning process and to SDC (the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation), the strongest YPARD supporter who has affirmed their support to YPARD for another phase, until mid-2021. It is a confirmation of the importance of engaging young professionals within the food systems and of the value of Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD) as the agency that is instrumental in making this happen.
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