Written by: Jenice Achieng
An invitation was extended to YPARD Kenya To participate in the Food Liaison Advisory Group (FLAG) exchange meeting with Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture on 31st January 2023 at the Wigot Gardens in Kisumu County. Jenice Audi, the YPARD Kenya Representative stood in for YPARD in this meeting.
Syngenta Foundation is implementing a project known as Nutrition in City Ecosystems (NICE) in Bungoma and Busia Counties. This is a project that seeks to improve food and nutrition; the availability and accessibility of fresh and healthy food for urban households in low-income areas.
The FLAG meeting convened participants from Bungoma and Busia as guest counties and Kisumu county as the host.
Also in attendance were representatives of the following
The objectives of the meeting included incorporating diverse interests and needs of food systems stakeholders in the counties around the lake region under the Lake Region Economic Block (LREB).
It was agreed that there is a need for self-sustaining participatory food governance and to establish planning mechanisms to support the development of sustainable food systems for the member counties. Busia and Bungoma counties were also on hand to share notes on their program dubbed NICE: Nutrition in City Ecosystems, a collaborative program comprising a consortium of like-minded organizations such as the Swiss Tropical Public Institute and Syngenta foundation for agriculture among others.
The FLAG project seeks to improve nutrition and well-being while reducing poverty among city populations, with a particular emphasis on working with women and youth.
The goals, among others, are
It is with the objectives above that FLAG is in the process of setting up a food systems platform to be populated with information on new learnings and proposals for onward implementation.
The thematic areas for strategy are
These resonate with our objectives as YPARD in the areas of
Connecting with the engagements at the FLAG Meeting, YPARD-Kenya has been honoured with a request to join the FLAG team in its policy processes. This offers YPARD Kenya the opportunity to advocate support for an enabling policy environment and appropriate investment in young professionals’ contributions to sustainable food systems.
Announcing our e-competition winners - 2021 edition!
We want to send a big thank you to everyone who participated in our contest and helped make it a success!
And a special congratulations To Cornelius Joojo Cobbina, Gold Julian Omolola, Sheriff Noi, Safiyya Kassim and Nimeshkumar Jitendra Gorani , the five selected winners of the YPARD/AGRINATURA/Agrisciences share e-Competition entitled ‘share your Story!’
These five stories stood out the most from all the entries, and have been crowned the winners!
First place: Cornelius Joojo Cobbina
This piece will take us to impact of women in agriculture dubbed as “the silent world changers” Enjoy reading his story at https://bit.ly/3sNUvWy and at https://bit.ly/2QHJE37
Second place: Gold Julian Omolola
Her research story “Cashew, farmers, and the value chain system- My research story thus far” details her journey in kenya among cashew farmers. Enjoy reading her story at https://bit.ly/3xiSbKI and at https://bit.ly/3dDMBL9
Third place: Sheriff Noi
His research story takes us on biogas implementation in Vietnam: Small-Scale biogas plants in Vietnam: its effects by policy issues?. Enjoy reading his story at https://bit.ly/3ayGUw3 and at https://bit.ly/3nmyu09
First place: Safiyya Kassim
Her story provides insights into her research journey as an undergraduate student “ Rescued from the pits of despair”.
Enjoy reading her story at https://bit.ly/2QUKqtS and at https://bit.ly/3vhve93
Second place: Nimeshkumar Jitendra Gorani
His story highlights his desire to contribute to agriculture development in his community dubbed the “Advancing youth for the truth”. Enjoy reading his story at https://bit.ly/3xiSbKI and at https://bit.ly/32DERmc
Our panel of judges, which included experts from YPARD, AGRINATURA,Agrisciences and CZU, chose the winning stories based on how well they exemplified the entry requirements, the storytelling style and the overall quality of the entries.
Congratulations to the FIVE!
Learning from Panel Discussion on Climate Change and Youth in COP26
By Shreyashi Bista
Recently, I joined YPARD which is an international movement by young professionals working effectively to build up young awareness about agricultural development and connecting and empowering youths in food systems. Meanwhile, I got information about the workshop "Panel Discussion on Climate Change and Youth, with How was COP26" which was jointly organized by Green Rangers Earth and YPARD Nepal, aiming to discuss about the major highlights, goals and outcomes of the 2021Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26). In this webinar, Mr. Lalmani Wagle and Ms. Prakriti Koirala (both climate activist and participants of COP26) and Mr. Kamal Dev Bhattarai(Journalist) were invited as speakers.
I attended this webinar where Mr. Wagle and Ms. Koirala gave us the highlights of COP26, Nepal's commitments, weaknesses, youth participation and way forward and Mr. Bhattarai gave his perception about the event. The COP26 majorly focused on decreasing the global temperature to 1.5o C and achieving net zero emission till mid century as per the target set by the Paris Agreement. It prioritized and ensured proper adaptation measures for different vulnerable ecosystems and communities and the effects from already accumulated greenhouse gases. The COP26, undoubtedly provided a better outlook to the parties by fulfilling the climate pact of providing subsidies to various fossil fuels, and similarly, COP document, for the first time had spoken about the phase down of the dirtiest fossil fuels (coal). However, the extent to which these commitments should be accomplished has not yet been done and the urgency for action was not still seen among the parties.
Youths from a wide range of networks and organizations mostly raised their voices in support of urgent climate justice and net-zero emissions with time constraints. Their engagement was more than average, and youths were being more aware of climate change adversities. However, it is not only participation that matters; it is the meaningful and quality engagement, as well as a commitment to work in the climate change sector that defines the success of their participation in COP26. Youth should examine and follow up on the progress of Nepal's Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) implementation, such as the amount of development of electricity-based systems and the adaptation system to climate induced disasters.
At the COP26 meeting, Nepal has committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2045 and to increase the total forest cover to 45%. It has also committed to decrease the risk and vulnerability from climate change completely till 2030. Other countries who participated in COP26 highly praised Nepal's involvement since it was structured, with a focus person for each crucial subject and as youths were being taken for substantial discussion. Alongside, there were also several weaknesses that Nepal displayed as they have talked about the natural extremities, losses, and damages, but they could not present evidence-based arguments for it, for example, the extremities of Melamchi Disaster, 2021 in Nepal. Furthermore, political turmoil is a significant impediment to putting climate change mitigation measures in place. The country leaders are constantly changing and the older issues remain as they are, when the leaders are changed.
Nepal has proposed a number of determined changes it would bring, but each of them relies on donations provided from developed countries, in absence of which there lies no basis. Developed countries are seen to be in no position to reduce emissions and meet their targets, putting developing countries at a disadvantage. Yet, the developed countries hold no accountability for their actions.Political leaders and concerned authorities must sensitively realize the problem of climate change rather than only displaying their insignificant attendance at . Similarly, Nepal must need scientific evidence to support all of the climate change catastrophes it claims to have witnessed.
In a nutshell, this webinar reflected the present status, commitments, efforts that need to be put forward, youth engagement in decreasing the impacts of climate change, urgency of emission reduction and Nepal's participation and contribution to COP26. It was a very fruitful session for the ones who wanted to know meticulously about COP26. I am grateful towards the organizing committee, especially Mr. Sagar Koirala & Mr. Abhishek Khadka, for providing us the opportunity to learn.
Small-Scale biogas plants in Vietnam: how are affected by policy issues?
Blog post by: Sheriff Noi
This blog post emerged as one of the five winners of the YPARD/AGRINATURA/AgriSciences Platform E-Competition: SHARE YOUR STORY! for the MSc and BSc Category. The competition which was tagged your Research your Story! aimed to help students have a better sense of ownership of their research and to communicate the most important parts of their research in a creative easy to read storytelling way.
Feeding the world in 2050 and addressing climate change has been a global concern for the past few decades. Hundreds of countries have signed several treaties and agreements to address these challenges. Being Asia's country with the biggest greenhouse gas emissions, Vietnam is not left out in this race. Thanks to a rapidly growing cattle industry, the country produces more than 80% of its livestock consumption.
Livestock has been linked to climate change due to abnormal digestion and methane gas production by organic waste. Aside from climate change, the government is falling behind on other sustainable development targets such as access to clean and inexpensive energy. Even though Vietnam is a signatory to many global climate change and sustainability treaties, the government has launched a national policy known as the Vietnam National Biogas Programme (VNBP) to address issues such as energy supply and organic waste management. Thousands of small-scale biogas facilities have been erected around Vietnam as part of the Vietnam National Biogas Program.
Biogas experts discovered that, despite several renewable energy and climate change policies in Vietnam, the VNBP was the most popular policy among stakeholders and thus was the major driving force for NGOs and international organizations focused on climate change and rural areas development to undertake several biogas projects. This has increased the value chain of biogas in Vietnam while also creating jobs for masons all around the country.
Nonetheless, there are several obstacles to this biogas program, including co-financing, low-tech plants, and a reaction from other energy policy instruments that lower the cost of traditional fuels, making biogas more expensive. Projects and programs focusing on small-scale biogas plants, on the other hand, have been chastised for setting unrealistic goals that are difficult to verify by beneficiaries, resulting in limited involvement in biogas projects and programs.
Finally, as Vietnam's livestock industry transitions from small-scale to large-scale production, the biogas industry is expected to transition from small-scale to industrial production. To prevent the small-scale biogas business in Vietnam from going out as the transition gradually achieves its height, legislative support is needed. Furthermore, because Vietnam's biogas industry is partially market-based, the government must adopt policies to protect small-scale biogas producers against inferior biogas technologies. In addition to realizing the idea of change, small-scale biogas initiatives in Vietnam should encourage recipients to invest in their long-term livelihood rather than rely on it.
Picture credit: Sheriff Noi
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