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Passing on to a new YPARD leadership and management

After a year as the YPARD Steering Committee (SC)’s chairperson, I am now stepping down with an incredible team taking over! I am proud of what we have accomplished over the past year and the foundations it creates for the new leadership and management to thrive!

Meet the new SC Chairperson Sebastian Pedraza and two additional members in the SC team: Marina Venancio from Brazil and Jim Cano from the Philippines. Over the past year and a half as an SC member, Sebastian has proven to be a proactive and collaborative leader. He has made wonders as the public face of the YPARD SC in international webinar discussions. He also built partnerships and revived a coordinated team in Latin America and the Caribbean. I can’t wait to see his magic operate even more on a global level!  Marina and Jim were both country representatives at YPARD. They are multi-faceted professionals with extensive experience in international youth engagement for sustainable food systems. They bring strong networks in the international agricultural development arena and many different expertises from environmental law to agri-tech management, youth policy advocacy, etc.

The team is starting on a new page after an eventful past year:

  1. We surfed the wave of the Covid19 crisis and related budget cuts that struck many organizations. We were able to develop a 5year action plan for 2021-2025 and to build a strategic partnership that allows more operational flexibility.
  2. We regenerated the foundations for cohesive international community dynamics within the worldwide team. It started within the SC and expanded to the broader team. For instance, at a time of difficult decisions to make last year, we organized online meetings with the YPARD Team of country and regional chapters to inform them thoroughly about the situation, discuss and get their say on the future they want for YPARD. They were also solicited to elaborate the YPARD’s Diversity and Inclusion Manifesto, to ensure and affirm social justice in YPARD’s values and ways of working. Also, regular interviews were conducted with members, partners and regional units to make sure that their perspectives, successes, challenges and ideas are addressed and supported on a global strategic and managerial level. This was very well received from the team and their engagement was extremely encouraging.
  3. We recently recruited and coached new pillars in the Global Coordination Unit: Genna Tesdall as the YPARD Director and Glindys Virginia Luciano as the Network Engagement Coordinator. Genna and Glindys have both embraced the YPARD’s vision and reality in record time and it’s been a joy to work with them! You can read Genna’s very inspiring letter to the community and watch Glindys’ video
  4. We started to restore a culture of Organizational Knowledge Management to capture and leverage where we are coming from in terms of strategies and processes and enable us to be innovative without re-inventing the wheel. This is particularly key in an agile and dynamic structure, to ensure flawless transitions.  

What’s left as challenges have felt like a curse since my first involvement with YPARD exactly 10 years ago. Despite the evidence of incredibly talented young professionals doing loads of work to make a change for good, young people are not taken seriously. Would that be the cost for shaking the status quo a bit too hard - despite the need for radical change? Power dynamics and conflicting interests are strong, young people are yet taken too often as free labor, the sustainability of YPARD is thus still and again the bottleneck, and exchanging constructive feedback to make everyone prosper is yet a skill to acquire and/or perhaps a currency used to keep control. 

But what I see is hope. Yesterday’s great achievements are milestones on the road and it is a relief to know that the new leadership and management team – through the Global Coordination Unit and Steering Committee - hold the value of YPARD as a youth-led international network for sustainable food systems and that they will take the work forward with passion and willpower. The leadership’s strength is to live, protect and nurture the culture and legacy of YPARD as an energized community owning the network. They have affirmed their commitment to more collaboration and strengthened ties with the YPARD Team and partners all around the world, and for finding innovative solutions to ensure YPARD’s sustainability. 

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YPARD: renewed Steering Committee dynamics for deeper international community engagement

It’s been nearly 6 months since I was elected as the YPARD Chairperson. In line with my commitment to ensuring that YPARD remains and evolves as a space for collective action and accountability, my  Steering Committee (SC)’s colleagues and I are keen to share our key passed milestones and steps to come.

Reviving the YPARD SC momentum

A key objective we needed to start with was to build a cohesive and proactive steering committee. We are all fairly new in the position. It meant swiftly getting to know each other, building the team dynamics, and generating a strong and collective sense of ownership and leadership. We are proud to check this box! 

Achieving this is sometimes a challenge: we need to find mechanisms that help smart yet very busy volunteers to commit enough time to the cause. Here is our approach. We maintain frequent and regular communications through concise and action-oriented weekly digests that both celebrate what was done and state clearly what needs to be accomplished. We also meet through monthly online meetings and we constantly stay tuned with the YPARD Director, so that the team has all the needed background information to bring acute input and informed decisions. It also includes consulting and providing feedback to each other so that everyone is aware of the value of their input and how it contributes to the collective work. Finally, and this is work in progress, we create space for individual responsibility so that every SC member can take the lead in the areas they are the most comfortable with. This cocktail of simple practices boosts the team to stay motivated and grow!

Refining YPARD’s positioning in current contexts 

2020 was jostled by two main happenings on a global level: Covid19 and the fights for Social Justice. It generated a lot of internal exchanges within the YPARD SC on how YPARD should take part in the discussions. It struck us that while YPARD was born from a very diverse group of young people and has always held very clear principles of diversity, inclusion and justice for all in the way it thinks and works, we now need to explicitly and formally state its position and record it as part of YPARD’s institutional reference documents.

This is crucial not only for identifying our stance about injustice and inequity now and forever but also to ensure that every YPARD member knows their fundamental worth and right.  A group of SC members has taken the lead on this workstream and we shall share our manifesto and related documents on what this means in the context of YPARD’s work - as and with young professionals for sustainable food systems - in the coming weeks.

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YPARD: a youth movement experience for sustainable food systems?

How do you differentiate a movement from a community? How are

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To an unsung disruptive leader

As YPARD’s Director, Courtney Paisley bids farewell to the young agriculturists’ network, former Communications, and Knowledge Manager, Marina Cherbonnier reflects on Courtney’s game-changing impact as a disruptive leader, towards truly sustainable development.

Ironically, we don’t make enough justice to empowering leaders. This is because enabling leaders are precisely those who genuinely know that for a community to take full ownership, their “leaders” need to get out of the spotlight. Game changers show the way through their backstage restless support and collaborative work; not through self-glory. They stimulate driven action and collective voice; not followership. It is thus rare to hear about them as individuals and their incredible impact.

After six years working closely with the Director of the international network of young professionals for agricultural development (a.k.a. YPARD), I want to give credit to Courtney Paisley’s work as a disruptive leader: her courage in constantly fighting for the community’s benefits at the forefront while tackling the challenges of a responsible Director in the background.

What makes for an enabling leader?

As a Director, Courtney served as the safeguard of the YPARD Network, so that it keeps its core essence and walks the talk as a community of empowered members. She facilitated the process of getting the community to assess and articulate what was good for them and to take and maintain strategic directions towards their collective goals. Working with Courtney helped me to confirm that Humility, Trust, Flexibility as well as being Strategic, Driven and Straight to the point were the key assets of an enabling leader.

Particularly, in a world of constant solicitations with few resources, Courtney made the difference by prioritizing efforts: focusing on few strategic and thorough global projects and providing restless efforts for ensuring their success. Check the research on Today’s skills and competencies needed for the youth in agriculture, the mentoring program, the research on the needs and aspirations of the youth in the MENA region. Leading is knowing the way and keeping the team on track so that they use their strength effectively.

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YPARD Team’s Online Hangout series: more interaction for more capacity

Have you ever thought of the wealth of knowledge that exists in the structure or organization you work with? At YPARD, we genuinely know that our community has a massive number of significant skills and experiences to share.

Thus, in 2016, we designed a series of online hangouts for our country representatives all around the world to interact better among themselves as well as with the YPARD coordination units and the steering committee. The purpose of the hangouts was to learn from each and to find solutions to our challenges, particularly on a national level, thanks to the internal knowledge.

We addressed the top 5 challenges that country representatives had expressed as ones that were hampering their ability to boost their YPARD activities:

#1 - How to mobilize and get YPARD members active in my country? [Team building]

#2 - Mentoring program: assessing the pilot phase and the way forward [Mentoring program design]

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New faces for YPARD Global Communications

By Marina Cherbonnier, YPARD communications and knowledge manager

At YPARD, we believe in structures than renew themselves and evolve. And indeed, as the new year starts, 2017 marks changes in the YPARD Global communications team as I will be leaving. Emmie Kio Wachira is taking up the YPARD Communications management while Stacy Hammond is becoming the youth-leader communications officer. As the current manager, I will be supporting Emmie and the rest of the team over a period of two months to smooth the transition and make sure that the necessary institutional and technical knowledge is transferred.

Emmie Kio Wachira, YPARD Communications manager

Emmie Kio Wachira has been working part-time as YPARD youth-leader communications officer with the YPARD Global coordination Unit, since August 2015. She has performed her responsibilities beyond expectations: she has led the delivery of meaningful and catchy content on YPARD’s communications channels as well as supported the building up of strong energetic young leaders at all levels. 

She has a thorough understanding of the international development arena and its panel of stakeholders, and she has proven herself able to think critically of youth empowerment in this context. This positions her as a youth leader herself – a “must” as part of the YPARD global unit. For more background information about Emmie, you can read the online introduction we had published when she joined the team as communications officer.

With her vibrant personality, Emmie has what it takes not only to manage YPARD’s communications strategy and activities but also, to be a true empowering and enthusiastic leader who will help uplift the community, on an international level, with insightful directions and initiatives, a restless support to the network and a passion for YPARD’s mission. This is what we need to change the status quo and get young professionals fully involved as agents of change in agriculture!

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Four young professionals; one passion: agriculture

They travelled from different parts of the world to come tell their story at the International Fund For Agricultural Development (IFAD)’s headquarter. Josine, Alpha, Nawsheen and Rahul, are four passionate young agriculturists. Yet, their projects are completely different from each other. Meet these role models through a snapshot of their inspiring AgTalks:

The bug guy

Josine, is a YAPper : a Young Agripeneur from the Philippines. She invented a post-harvest mechanism that helps reduce crop waste. Her idea enables food safety for consumers, economic security for farmers and environmental health for all, through pest control. It is called the Mechanical Pest Removal System (MPReS). The machine operates on 3 simple principles: Mechanical. Organic. Manual. Remember: M.O.M! It is low cost, long lasting, easy to use, and it doesn’t use any chemicals; it works with heated air only.

It is a revolution in the Philippines where millions of tons of food are lost every year and where the use of chemicals brings severe health and environmental issues (chemical residue remains on crops and it builds up pest resistance). Many farmers are not aware of these problems and alternative low-cost pest control is currently wasteful.

“I had a simple and good idea, and the biggest obstacle in my way was…me.” Josine said to the audience. She added: “Here’s what I learned: innovations don’t have to be expensive, complicated, or even high-tech, to be effective.

  • What you first need is passion, and you need to know your craft. As a bug guy, everything I’ve poured into this project stems from being passionate about insects.
  • You need to have faith. I’ve met a lot of challenges along the way, from financial setbacks, to naysayers. I’ve learned to shrug it off, because I believe that my project can help farmers attain a better quality of life.
  • Lastly, you need a little bit of luck. Mine was a foreman called Sir Eugene who came up with the final design piece. Never be afraid to ask for help, because you’ll always be surprised where it can come from.”

Josine was happy to announce that they are now in the testing phase of the machine and they will soon move on to mass production. “The MPReS began as a small idea in my mind and now it has grown to include so many people from different walks of life.” She said. Also, Josine has received excellent feedback from farmers from rural Philippines on how her project could truly make a difference in their lives. Josine closed her speech by addressing to her fellow youths: she urged them to remember that “in agriculture, no idea can ever be too small to matter.”

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Interconnection: a youth response to rural-urban and international migration

The youth in landscapes initiative organized its fourth annual program at the 2016 Global Landscapes Forum (November 16th), held in Marrakesh, Morocco, at the sideline of the COP22.

The youth program’s specific objectives this year were to support a multidisciplinary and geographically diverse youth presence at the 2016 GLF, including a strong Northern Africa and Middle-East contribution. We particularly increased recognition about how youth are driving innovative ideas/projects/campaigns through showcasing their own stories, and we further helped transform and support youth ideas into concrete local projects. In addition, we fostered intergenerational understanding and new partnerships between youth delegates and senior delegates at the conference.

We believe in thorough processes and thats how this all happened:

Before the conference, we started by gathering the youth in landscapes initiative’s community of alumni who co-designed the youth session in less than 3 weeks.

In order to better prepare the youth for the conference, they also organized a series of webinars that helped to address these questions identified as important to young people in landscapes: Have you ever thought about the relation between youth and elders in environmental governance; interactions between youth in rural and urban areas; what intergenerational equity is; migration and sustainable development? The webinar aimed at building intergenerational understanding and capacity about these issues. These cover topics both about landscapes issues and about key soft skills. You can watch these webinar series anytime on the youth in landscapes webinars page.  

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Young agriculturalists propose their agenda for healthy diets

Eight universities from Brazil, Ghana, Morocco, Thailand, Norway, USA, Italy and Belgium took part in the Student Interactive Session during the International Symposium on Sustainable Food Systems for Healthy Diets and Improved Nutrition. This was held at the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)’s Headquarters, in November 2016.

The students expressed their concern with the current food systems, particularly impacted by international dynamics. They stressed what they see as a necessity for ensuring healthy and nutritive food for all and on a long term. These include: preserving local and traditional food, and food sovereignty in all countries, involving the youth and increasing their interest in agriculture, as well as tackling food waste and ensuring nutritive food in a world that promotes productivity.

Being able to make healthy choices as a consumer

Particular youth’s concern with Food Systems is on how they affect people’s abilities to make healthy food choices. Norway students denounced abusive production, marketing and commercial pressure for products that are detrimental for health: “We need to ensure that healthy foods are available and accessible to all. The way current food environments are built greatly affects what we buy and eat. Food is presented in stores, restaurants & cafés to promote sales of foods high in sugar, fats and salt. Also, food marketing to children has been identified as a major contributing factor to obesity.”

Brazilian students messages focused on the difficulty to identify trustworthy information about nutrition. They stressed the necessity to always be aware of how the food industry can manipulate information. They also asked: “how do we ensure healthy choices through the products we buy while affording these healthy diet? High income inequality contributes to inadequate food access and worsens health and nutritional status. Anemia, micronutrient deficiencies, overweight and obesity are the main nutritional concerns, in Latin America.”

Students also condemned the role of transnational food corporations in generating ultra-processed foods over fresh locally produced food. For example, it was said that Brazilian native seeds have been set aside and their food sovereignty has been called into question. Food itself has become global and detatched from local seasons and environment. How can regions remain competitive within the Global Food Systems and still safeguard domestic production, consumption and cultural practices?

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Youth Network in Agriculture: we connect and rejuvenate the world

At the occasion of YPARD 10 years, Marina Cherbonnier, the current communications and knowledge manager, expresses what the added value of YPARD is, as an international network of young professionals in agriculture.

I was 25 when I joined YPARD’s global coordination unit as the first web and communications officer. We were two employees then. In retrospect, I feel I grew up as an adult at a faster pace with YPARD, because, to a large extent, I had to take care of and be responsible for our youth community. 

I had never understood how central my role could look like because, to me, YPARD was – and is - all the members that are joining, one by one, the community. I still remember my interviews for the position; I had one word in mind: ownership. It is only some months ago that the concept was brilliantly challenged by one of our colleagues from the IFAD’s youth desk: “Authorship should be the term, so that it reflects that Youth indeed write their own story”. 

During all these years, I have followed the flow of the passion I had for the mission I was assigned to. And the more I put energy into it, the more inspiration and insights I got from our members themselves.  

This passion goes beyond the idea of helping young professionals in agriculture, which in itself is yet one of the noblest causes I could think of and that I have at heart, for it recalls my childhood, my education and my values. 

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Welcoming Aimé Kazika, country representative of YPARD-DRC

YPARD is delighted to welcome Aimé Kazika, first national representative for YPARD for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Aimé Kazika, is a young Congolese agronomist since 2002 and is involved in agriculture and rural development. He is also interested in issues related to social media, youth employment, children’s rights and marginalized youth.

As a young Congolese in a country where youth poverty is high, and where agriculture is no longer attracting the attention of the youth, Aimé is committed alongside the many other young people to sensitize young people to get involved in agriculture.

With field experience in supporting farmers' organizations and youth, Aimé, dedicated research work on Climate Smart Agriculture with which he educates rural communities to strengthen community resilience, and uses it as adaptation tool to climate change and climate risk reduction.

Its vision is that of young people playing an important role in development, especially rural development; he particularly sees the importance of agriculture to tackle unemployment. As a blogger and member of the blogging community in DRC, his dream is reflected in his blog through which he wants to inspire a bright future for young Congolese and sensitize on the problems of unemployment, employment, environment, agriculture and agricultural entrepreneurship.

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Young Farmers step up!

As you prepare for the future, it is only natural to engage the new generation. That's the World Farmers’ Organization 's belief. This international organization of farmers for farmers is defining its Strategic Framework 2018-2028 and walking the talk in involving young farmers into giving directions to draw the way forward.

Not only does WFO put its members center and forefront as the driver of it actions but also, they recognize the role and the specific challenges the young people hold in shaping a sustainable future for themselves and the world over. 

This is why a group of young farmers, representatives of the different WFO’s members gathered in Rome this October. 

FARMINNOUTH, a session in parallel of the CFS at FAO headquarter was organized to promote the critical importance of young farmers in the agricultural sector. It discussed the role that finance, education and innovation may have in strengthening youth engagement in agriculture. Representatives of the different stakeholders in the agricultural sector shared their perspectives and generated lively exchanges of ideas. Read more about this event here: How young generations get ready to fight planet’s challenges for a more sustainable future? as well as this blog post from one the young CFS’s YPARD social reporters: Let’s make Farming Famous

Later, a Young Farmers’ Forum was organized at WFO’s headquarter. This one day event focused on determining those youth challenges and opportunities WFO’s strategic directions would address. Young Farmers were invited to come with clear ideas on the outcome they would like to achieve as members of the World Farmers Organisation. An outcome document was elaborated based on these discussions and will inform the directions of the Strategic Framework. 

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Working together in the rural areas of the Mediterranean

In October 2015, key partners in the Mediterranean region met to ensure that rural communities in the region were not forgotten from development activities in the south and north of the Mediterranean. 

Where are we at, one year later? How far has the Foundation of the South-North Mediterranean Dialogue come in generating rich dialogue as vector of peace and tolerance? What about GFAR’s role in catalyzing collective action, including rural communities? Also, what are the new approaches of the EU neighborhood policies: the policy framework of rural development in the region, and what is the point of view of the South? What were the next steps taken by the different partners, from local to global level: development workers, farmers, policy makers and the civil society since then? A meeting in October 2016 in Rome helped to assess these.

Working together at all levels, to address the challenges of rural areas, with a strong perspective on the future, remains the central idea of ??the partners. Young people positioned themselves as key stakeholders in these discussions and contributed to collective perspectives for a present and a future that requires their active participation.

Youth, recognized as fundamental agents of change for better living conditions, were invited to the discussions in 2015. As a result of these discussions and further online exchanges, a leading group - YPARD Mediterranean: the Mediterranean chapter of the Young Professionals Network for Agricultural Development - was born. This year, the dialogues went a step further and gave a more crucial place to topics specific to young people, even though the youth presence was still limited.

Our key message through our presence would not have been better expressed by the Executive Secretary of GFAR, Mark Holderness: "The disillusionment of young people is a challenge, but we also see a powerful energy among young people to drive change."

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Mediterranean Youth aims at fighting marginalization with agriculture

We hadn’t left the Milan Congress 2015 when the YPARD’s Mediterranean team - a group of 25 agriculturists from the South and the North Mediterranean- got together and said: “This was a very rich experience of South-North Mediterranean dialogues for rural development upon which we can reflect, and the discussions and outcomes really highlighted the key role of young people as agents of change in the region. But we can also see limitations in the way we discussed during the congress. So, we would like to propose a new model for the 2018 Congress to boost dynamic interactions among partners.’’ 

Since then, the YPARD Mediterranean chapter has been taking part in further discussions with current and emerging partners and initiatives leaders towards a series of 2016-2018 Dialogues and a set of actions for better livelihoods in the region. 

The team’s objective is to make sure that youth are partof the process as agents of change for long-term development in the Mediterranean, together with other stakeholders.  Three key messages color the youth group’s contribution. First of all, we believe that rural-urban exodus isn’t a fatality and rural development should be seen as an opportunity. Secondly, we want to create inclusive and dynamic discussions and actions with partners around a common vision and strong collaborations. Finally, we urge stakeholders to involve young people as core contributors for inter-generational and co-learning experiences. These are keys, we believe, for sustainable development. 

Rural-urban exodus isn’t a fatality 

The YPARD Mediterranean group believes that rural-urban exodus isn’t a fatality. Many people want to leave rural areas because they can’t imagine viable lives there but many would ideally like to remain in their communities. So we want to engage in constructive discussions where we would talk about youth’s aspirations, opportunities in rural areas and creative solutions to challenges, notably through youth’s own capacity to respond creatively and collectively to every-day challenges. 

This would also lead us to look at rural development beyond agriculture, that is, with its collection of livelihood assets (natural, social, economic etc). In that sense, we strongly recommend to not isolate economic aspects from the rest but link them to other livelihood assets. We need to look at the inter-connectedness of factors to make sustainable livelihoods possible in rural areas.

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Enough of: youth – this is what we want from you

In the past few years, YPARD has worked on a series of activities to better prepare young people for the job market. A 2011 research study examined the skills needed by today’s youth in agriculture and a career fair examined youth’s “employability” at Tropentag in Prague in 2014. Partnerships with university consortia like GCHERA, RUFORUM and Agrinatura, also invited young professionals to share their recent experience in the employment sector with the aim of informing curricula development in a changing environment. 

This year, we wanted to go beyond, shifting the discussions from “youth: this is what we want from you” to “How can we support youth’s visions of a sustainable agricultural future?”. YPARD and IAAS’s session at Tropentag 2016 in Vienna asked what actions the youth of tomorrow will want us to have taken today. It involved around 25 participants; mainly students and young professionals and a few senior professionals. 

This interactive session started with a brief presentation and an icebreaker where participants got to learn about each other and the motivations that led them to the agricultural sector. Through this we wanted to have a better understanding of youth’s vision(s) for agricultural development. Small discussion groups were then formed to answer the questions: 1) what role are today’s youth playing to realize their vision and how does it reflect in their studies and the job sector? 2) What skills and competencies are most valuable in current agricultural development practice; is there a good balance between technical and soft skills and how can this be improved? (3) How can we prepare young professionals to work towards the future they want?

Youth’s aspirations in agriculture

Eight major reasons led the young people at the session to get involved in agriculture: 

  • To respond to major challenges like food security, climate change, land use and ultimately, sustainability. 
  • To Change the status quo and improve the way things are done
  • To exploring  untapped potential like commercialization and economic diversification
  • Support national development for self-sufficiency,  linking rural and urban activities and improving livelihoods
  • As a part of cultural heritage. The  family and their history
  • To improve livelihoods, particularly of small-holder farmers
  • To combine traditional and modern knowledge and techniques
  • To improve health, both human and environmental

In brief, agriculture is largely seen among the session’s youth as a means for sustainable human, social, natural and economic livelihoods development, from local to global level.

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The Road to 2030, with the youth in agriculture

The theme of the 2016 International Youth Day , 12th of  August, is “The Road to 2030: Eradicating Poverty and Achieving Sustainable Consumption and Production”. Through this theme, the United Nations recognize “the leading role of young people in ensuring poverty eradication and achieving sustainable development through sustainable consumption and production”. They use as objective and framework the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Agriculture plays a key role in the way we produce and consume. Its practice has a huge influence (positive or negative) on the well-being of people and nature on a long term. Therefore, Young Professionals involved in agriculture, from farming to policy making, have a massive power in shaping a sustainable world, that’s to say one that will self-sustain itself on a long term (including all its aspects: health, society, economy, environment etc).

The Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD) believe in the necessity of, first and foremost, listening to and understanding Youth’ visions for their lives. Furthermore, we are convinced that a sustainable world can only happen when people get together, discuss, debate and envision a common future. At this occasion, YPARD’s Foresight Ambassador, Oluwabunmi Ajilore, looks at the importance of Foresight approaches towards enabling young people to define the futures they want, which in turn helps them assess the decisions and actions they have to make NOW, towards these. Read: Eradicating youth poverty through agricultural production? The role of foresight

Also, we want to show what young people in agriculture are up to, Today, to fulfill this noble cause, at their own level. From India to Barbados, Young Champions for Sustainable Development aren’t missing. The two featured young women are young agripreneurs mentored for a period of one year, in the context of the YAP - youth agripreneurs project - initiated by the Global Forum - GFAR in partnership with YPARD. Nikki and Kellyan tell us where they are at, with their initiative, since the launching of the project, last April. Meet Nikki, a young Indian dairy farmer focusing on Indigenous milk breeds and Kellyann an agri-business young woman from Barbados who works with several local farmers to get the best organic products for skincare.

Check also IFAD’s blogpost featuring seven rural youth from around the world to discuss the challenges and opportunities they face, and to discover what they need in order to improve their lives and feed the world (check the e-cards here).

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The tree metaphor: announcing YPARD’s Country Pages!

Imagine YPARD: a network of young professionals in agriculture as a tree. The more you strengthen its branches, the more leaves and buds will pop-up and grow. As a result: fruits.

The roots up to the branches are YPARD Country chapters; they are supporting a growing community of members: a pool of young people with different cultural backgrounds, aspirations and livelihoods. The members grow as leaves, buds and flowers.

The more members and representatives to take up leading efforts, the more networks of people do we build upon, to join a global community willing to play an active role in shaping agricultural development - for they are well aware about how critical this is for their present and future subsistence.

The purpose of it all is certainly to generate the fruits that will enable to feed and maintain the eco-system we need for our lives. We believe in the power of brainstormed, designed and implemented activities on national level to respond to the specific needs of these young people. These bulks grow their own fruitful initiatives, support their members and at their turn sustain and nurture the global community which aims at making sure that Young People are involved collectively in key global development processes that affect them as a whole.

The YPARD tree has built a steady ground over the past years. Now the challenge is to strengthen the roots, the branches and keep the buds growing and generate produces, while ensuring that the trunk has the power to keep this critical mass high and impactful. Yet, ensuring that the branches are robust enough to carry their part can only support this organic whole.

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The Best of YPARD's 10 year anniversary! (part 1)

As YPARD - the international network of young professionals for agricultural development - hits 10 years of achievements in 2016, YPARD members (commonly called “YPARDians”) have been celebrating their community through a series of YPARD online and onsite events, all over the world. More than ever, YPARD reaffirms itself as a network and “a family” of young people dedicated to take action and enhance their active participation for agricultural development – together with their supporters.  

We have collated the Very Best of the #YPARD10years celebrations so far, hoping it will inspire you to take part in the year-long festivities. Join us, and let’s project ourselves forward: let’s define together what we want next, for YPARD.

The infographic

Check the key milestones of YPARD Community since its beginning, through this infographic.

The video

You can also grasp YPARD’s progress in enhancing youth participation in agriculture through this animation video: 

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Webinar Alert! Is a picture worth a thousand words?

"What's easier than uploading a picture online", you say?

And indeed, we *all* think we rock at it...but let's be honest: we don't...
Do you have an eye for quality pictures? Do you know how to resize them without distorting them? Do you know that there are a number of rules and rights around pictures that you should not deny... 

Join the upcoming GFAR's webinar on June 22nd at 13:00 CET (and will last about 1.5 hours).

The topic will be “Pictures: a website’s blessing or curse?”, a practical webinar, showing how to find, and process pictures which are a blessing, rather than a curse, for your website or blog.

Presented by Peter Casier - online media consultant -:

Part 1: How to find appropriate pictures for your blog/website (or web content). 

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Calling for interns in “Web4Knowledge”

The Young Professionals for Agricultural Development’s network (YPARD) is looking for three – 3 - interns – an English speaker, a Francophone and a Spanish speaker - to join the YPARD’s Global Communications team and expand its information services and communications. 

WANTED!

  • Do you have a background in agricultural related fields, natural resource management, ICT4D or similar fields?
  • Are you passionate about and knowledgeable about issues related to agricultural and youth development?
  • Do you have a keen interest and a proven flair for Information research, dissemination and communications?
  • Do you have good written communication skills and are you eager to refine them?
  • Do you show a strong curiosity and critical thinking, and no fear to go the extra mile for contributing to YPARD Team’s collective thinking and progressively taking responsibility for your actions?
  • Do you pay attention to detail and are you meticulous?
  • Do you have sharp eyes for visuals while ensuring the message is strong and relevant?
  • Are you a Young Professional, member of YPARD (If not, sign up at www.ypard.net)  
  • Do you have working knowledge of English (necessary to be in touch with YPARD Community)? Are you fluent and show full written and verbal proficiency in any of these 3 languages: English, French or Spanish?
  • Are you looking for a valuable professional experience of few hours a week in Information and Communication for Agricultural Development?

If the response to all these questions is YES, you may just be the right person to join YPARD Global Communications Team as an intern.

Your mission!

YPARD has seen outstanding progress and over time, ithas grown tobecome a vibrant and dynamic network. To help shape and support this development, the YPARD Global Coordination Unit (GCU) is looking to strengthen its team with driven, self-motivated, innovative and problem-solving communications champions. Every intern of the GCU is a leader-to-be at their own level to support a demanding community of members. For this, you need to feel the YPARD from your gut and to undertake as YOUR mission: young professionals’ empowerment for agricultural development. Joining YPARD as intern is more than “building an international career”.

One of YPARD’s objectives for 2016 is to boost our information services and membership in English, French, Spanish (and Chinese). We need to build a stronger “polyglot” team.

With the support of YPARD Communications team, as a Web4Knowledge intern in English, French OR Spanish,

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