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Enough talk, let´s act - engaging youth in agriculture

For the past few years, YPARD and its partner organizations have conducted a series of activities to support young people in agriculture.

Our mission is to enable and empower young agricultural leaders shaping sustainable food systems. To achieve this we have our members at heart, who are encouraged to become active voices for the youth in their respective fields and organizations and further, facilitate an exchange of ideas.

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 for them to take charge and contribute to a more sustainable agricultural future”.

On Wednesday, September 18, 2019, a few hours before the 2019 Tropentag conference officially started at the University of Kassel, Germany. YPARD in collaboration with Agrinatura carried out a pre-conference workshop. The workshop brought together over thirty conference attendees comprised of students, researchers, young agricultural professionals, and other stakeholders to discuss what actions the youth can take to contribute to the improvement of the agricultural sector for future generations and how youth-based organizations such as YPARD and Agrinatura can contribute more to this issue.

Only the youth knows what the youth wants

This interactive session started with a brief presentation of YPARD and Agrinatura and an icebreaker where participants got to learn about each other and the five keywords that best describe them. Through this, we wanted to create an environment of comfort and trust where participants felt free to share their thoughts, views, and vision(s) and to let us know how youth-based organizations can do more to support sustainable agricultural development.

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  • Germany
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Welcoming the new YPARD Azerbaijan communications focal point Ramil Azmammadov

We are delighted to welcome the incoming YPARD Azerbaijan communications focal point Ramil Azmammadov

Ramil studied a BA in Agriculture Management and MA in Management of Production Systems at Azerbaijan State Agriculture University. While he studied MA in Management of Production Systems, he received a scholarship from the Hungarian Republic and FAO to study a second master's degree in Hungary. In 2012 Ramil graduated from the MSc in “Rural Development and Agribusiness” at Szent Istvan University (SZIE) in Hungary.

In the same year, after graduation, Ramil established a trading company in Hungary and started to import organic pomegranate juices from Azerbaijan. Within two years, he successfully introduced his products to market chains and luxury restaurants in Hungary.

Since 2015, after he returned to Azerbaijan he has been working with the biggest agricultural projects in Azerbaijan. The projects cover area is changing from 1500 ha to 45000 ha. He is responsible for implementing modern technologies (precision agriculture) in farms, supporting farms in the region like selecting farming machines, seeds, pesticides, and irrigation systems for particular fields and R&D.

He frequently attends international training courses all around the world to widen his knowledge and experience on Agribusiness. Ramil has attended training courses on topics such as Agribusiness: Innovation and Efficiency (SABIT, The US), Agricultural Engineering Technologies (MASHAV, Israel), Economic Cooperation in Agriculture (GIZ, Germany) and Agricultural Development and Policy (ICLPST, Taiwan)

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  • Azerbaijan
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YPARD and YEAN Rwanda Young Social Media Reporters at the 2019 APA Conference

Social media has grown tremendously in the last few years and it has enabled the spreading of information to a wider public. Now a powerful tool connects communities regardless of the location.

The Young Engagement in Agriculture Network (YEAN) and Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD) have together accumulated experience in managing and coordinating different social media reporting projects for several conferences in different agriculture-related topics targeting different audience.

During the African Potato Association (APA) 11th triennial conference 2019 organized by the International Potato Center (CIP) and the Rwanda Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) held at the Marriott Hotel Kigali from 25th – 29th August 2019. YEAN in collaboration with YPARD powered by the International Potato Center (CIP) Rwanda, deployed a team of 6 young social media reporters to cover the conference and share its content with social media users outside and inside the conference’s venue. social media reporting is two-way communication channels that enable interaction with “outsiders” by soliciting their offsite participation in the onsite presentations and discussions before, during and after the conference, as well as stimulating discussions about the topics covered.

The team covered the conference according to the schedule and it was an interactive performance from the welcoming cocktail, main sessions, discussion panels, parallel discussions to the field visits held on the last day of the conference. It was an amazing experience sharing with the world the latest advances in potato and sweet potato value chain in Africa.

In five days of the conference, the hashtags #APARwanda2019 of the event reached over 2,4 million impressions on Twitter. YEAN & YPARD team of social media reporters enjoyed and performed outstandingly and professionally. It was a great time for the social media reporters to meet the world of potato and sweet potato and spread the message all over social media highlighting the best and latest advances in potato and sweet potato industry.

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  • Rwanda
  • Promote agriculture among young people
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YPARD Bangladesh shines at Nutrition Olympiad 2019

The Government of Bangladesh identifies nutrition as a cross-cutting issue and has committed to the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement. 

Nutrition may have a significant impact on physical as well as cognitive development and productivity in humans. Good nutrition, which comprises adequate quality and quantity of food intake that reduces the frequency of illness is considered to be a basic human right. Hence, it is an essential input for economic development. 

As youths are the future leaders and most important part of our population, their nutritional demand should be ensured. Moreover, they should be involved with nutritional movements.

Nutrition Olympiad is an annual national event where youth can get an opportunity to share their experiences to promote healthy diets and nutrition through innovative activities. They can also express their concerns and challenges related to nutrition and seek actionable solutions as well as build networks. 

With the financial support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and European Union (EU), the nutrition Olympiad 2019 was held on Saturday 27th April 2019 at the Bangabandhu International Convention Centre (BICC), Sher-E-Bangla Nagar, Dhaka. Through Meeting the Under-nutrition Challenge (MUCH) project, implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with the Food Planning and Monitoring Unit (FPMU), Ministry of Food, and the BIID Foundation. Like BNNC, BIRTAN, GAIN, UNICEF, and others, YPARD joined the event as ‘Strategic Partner’.

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  • Bangladesh
  • Sharing Information and connecting people
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Annonce: L’atelier des jeunes agriculteurs et entrepreneurs agricoles pour l’Afrique de l’ouest

Apres l’Afrique de l’est, les jeunes professionnels pour le développement agricole (YPARD) en collaboration avec l'Organisation des Nations Unies pour l'alimentation et l'agriculture (FAO) ainsi que Rikolto (anciennement VECO West Africa) programment un autre  atelier de formation du 21 au 25 Octobre 2019 à Dakar/Sénégal. Cet atelier concerne les jeunes des pays d’Afrique de l’ouest, entre autres le Benin, le Sénégal, la Cote d’Ivoire, le Burkina-Faso et le Mali.

Cet atelier interactif et pragmatique pour les jeunes de l’Afrique de l’ouest a pour objectifs de promouvoir  est de renforcer les capacités des jeune agri-preneurs sur les pratiques d’agriculture durable afin qu’ils puissent participer à un développement durable. Mais aussi renforcer les leurs capacités et leurs contacts entre le milieu rural et le milieu urbain. Cette rencontre sera l’occasion d’amorcer des échanges B2B entre jeunes participants et permettre de nouveaux partenariats à l’échelle locale et régionale mais  aussi les amener à atteindre  les bailleurs des fonds car  l’accès aux financements est l’une des questions qui bloque les jeunes agribusiness  dans les marchés africains.

Plusieurs candidatures venant de parts et d’autres des jeunes œuvrant dans les secteurs agricole de l’Afrique de l’ouest ont été enregistrées depuis le lancement de l’appel à candidature jusqu’à sa  clôture. Les postulants émergents dans la production primaire, l’agro-entre, la logistique post-récolte, la production de semences, le marketing, les spécialistes en valeurs ajoutée etc. ont été retenus.

Apres l’évaluation de chaque profil, intérêt et les activités de chaque candidat le jury a décidé de sélectionner 40 participants qui ont capté son attention à travers leurs start-up venant de ce six pays de l’Afrique de l’ouest.

Consulter cet lien pour savoir sur les candidatures sélectionnées pour cette aventure….

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  • Senegal
  • Promote agriculture among young people
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Youth job creation pathway

The Ghana Association of Agricultural Economists (GAAE) held its third annual conference at the ISSER Conference Facility- University of Ghana, Legon from July 23-26, 2019.

The conference theme was “Sustainable agriculture and national development: Finance, Markets and Job creation”. The three-day conference brought together academia, researchers, industry partners and young entrepreneurs interested in developing careers in agribusiness. Apart from plenary discussion on the theme, there were poster and oral presentations as well as exhibitions.

Panel discussions on four key issues:

  • Sustainable Agriculture: Ecological Versus Genetic Intensification,
  • Relevance and Perspectives for Socio-economic Development of Ghana;
  • Job Creation in Agri-preneurship for the Youth; Modernizing Farmers or Farming: Where should the emphasis be?
  • Agricultural Finance and Markets: Options for Agribusiness Development in Ghana.

These issues were discussed with interesting contributions from the panel members. YPARD Ghana was represented by the country representative, Kafui Agbe was a discussant on the “Job Creation in Agri-preneurship for the Youth” panel. The key propositions made as a pathway for Job Creation for youth by the Country Representative include:

  1. Sensitization - (entrepreneurship; value chain opportunities): There’s a need for the youth to be taken through the various opportunities within the value chain. Entrepreneurship program should be introduced in the senior high-level curricula to prepare the minds of young people towards the development of businesses to meet societal needs. Practical agriculture sections and field trips should be inculcated into the educational system to help secure the future of agriculture in the country and help create the needed jobs.
  2. Ideation and incubation: Young people must be helped to generate ideas within the agri-food system through incubation. Incubation programmes such as Creating Champions in Livestock Agribusinesses (CCLEAr), Kosmos Innovation Centre (KIC), Guzakuza, among others must be supported and strengthened with the needed capacity in this direction.
  3. Acceleration of innovative early-stage start-ups: Structured acceleration programme is needed to support scalable ideas through seed funding and capacity building. KIC through the incubation programme has produced more than nine AgTech start-ups and supported them with seed capital and office spaces. KIC has also provided a platform for identified AgTech start-up to enhance mentoring, networking and advisory support. These support schemes enable these businesses to stand, however, this support scheme is not effective in the other incubators such as CCLEAr thus making the businesses established by start-ups through their capacity building programmes falling apart.
  4. Addressing sustainability issues: Enterprises established by youth must be built sustainably. This can be achieved through integrating successful youth innovation into government programmes, targeted financing scheme, creation of market linkages, continue mentoring, among others. For instance, the innovation developed by Trotro Tractor Ltd to connect smallholder farmers to mechanization should be an integral part of the Government of Ghana’s Planting for Food and Jobs Programme. Similarly, Akokotakra, a farm management software developed to enable poultry farmer to record, monitor, keep track and analyze all their farm operations easily should be integrated into the Rearing for Food and Job Programme to help poultry productivity in the country. Targeted financing scheme with low-interest rates for young entrepreneurs and good market linkage for products and services will help sustain young people in agribusiness.

YPARD Ghana strongly believes that when this pathway is followed job creation in agri-preneurship for the teeming young population of Africa will be achieved to help reduce youth unemployment.

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  • Ghana
  • Access to resources and capacity building
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Celebrating Youth Day on the farm

The International Youth Day 2019 was celebrated all the over the world with the theme “Transforming education”, highlighting efforts to make education more relevant, equitable and inclusive for all youth, including efforts by youth themselves. In similar vein the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Youth Agripreneurs in conjunction with ENABLE TAAT hosted a symposium on the 15th of August 2019 at the IITA Conference centre Ibadan to celebrate the youth day.

According to statistics, Nigeria has a teeming population of 180 million with over 40 percent of her people falling within the age bracket of 18-35 years. Thus the youth are a major resource base not only for development of national economic and financial prosperity but also for effecting social change. Hence the need to empower them to effectively contribute to National development through agribusiness and agro-allied ventures.

Dr. Chrys Akem who is the Program Coordinator of Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT), delivered the opening address at the symposium and highlighted the key objectives of TAAT which cut across improving the productivity and profitability of African agriculture via usage of proven technologies. He advised youth to take up the great challenge of feeding the nation and aim towards self-empowerment. He assured youth that the TAAT project is highly supportive of youth engagement through Enable TAAT youth compact.

Several senior executives and hundreds of youth from all walks of life were present as the symposium zoned in on the opportunities, and prospects available along agribusiness value chains. YPARD Nigeria was ably represented by Showemimo Akinbowale, who is the Oyo state local representative for the YPARD network. He spoke as part of a panel session on the topic “Youth Enterprise Opportunities in Agribusiness”.

Akinbowale explained the concept of a value chain in Agriculture using his area of specialty - fish farming and said agro value chain is the sum total of all activities that begin at the production stage till the final product gets to the consumer. He outlined, “For instance, if the final product is a pack of dried fish, the value chain that makes up that process encompasses the fish breeder that bred the fishes to fingerlings; the feed producer who made the feed; the feed retailer who owns a shop that makes the feed available for the farmers; as well as the farmer who outgrows the fishes from fingerlings to melange. Others on the value chain include the person who builds the fish ponds that would house the fishes; the fish processor who processes the fish from live weight melange to dried fish; and the sales outlet that makes the final processed fish available for customers to buy.”

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  • Nigeria
  • Promote agriculture among young people
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Who speaks for "youth in cocoa" in Ghana?

The cocoa industry is vital to the development of Ghana’s economy as it constitutes about 1.8% of the country’s GDP.

It is a major contributor to agricultural growth, employment, rural household incomes and macroeconomic stability. Despite its critical role, Ghanaian youth have been reluctant to engage in business within the cocoa value chain in the face of ageing cocoa farmers. This raises serious concerns about the long-term sustainability of the industry. Its potential to create employment for the many unemployed rural youths remains untapped. Creating a supportive infrastructure in which they can participate in the industry professionally and as a business can provide employment opportunities This would eventually stem youth migration to urban areas in search of a better life as migration leads them to more challenging conditions, without any social support system.

Solidaridad, AflatounAshesi University, Fidelity Bank and the Ghana Cocoa Board are implementing the Next Generation Cocoa Programme (MASO) a five-year programme funded by the Mastercard Foundation as part of its Youth Forward Initiative.MASO focused on creating employment opportunities for the youth (18-25) in Ghana’s cocoa communities. The focus is to make the industry lucrative to economically disadvantaged rural youth who are, out of school by demonstrating a viable business case. With the adoption of a holistic approach that combines market-relevant skills, mentorship, internships and access to financial services and markets, young people are able to transition out of poverty and into sustainable livelihoods in farming and entrepreneurial ventures. The programme has so far trained and graduated over 5000 youth who are making a livelihood from cocoa farming and related businesses. These youth are replacing the ageing farming population and ensuring the sustainability of the cocoa industry, provide a voice for these young people who are not so assertive, a youth network within the cocoa landscape called the MASO Youth Network was created by young people who have undergone training and graduated from either the MASO Cocoa Academy (farmer incubator) or MASO Business Academy (business incubator). The aim of the network is to connect, share and inspire thus, “In the MASO Youth Network, young cocoa entrepreneurs find the strength they need; the voice they lack and the confidence to confront their challenges and excel in their various businesses and lives as a whole”. By end 2020, the MASO Youth Network will have a membership of over 10,000 young professional cocoa farmers and other entrepreneurs engaged in ventures within the cocoa value chain and businesses that enhance livelihoods in over 350 cocoa-growing communities.

For the achievement of this objective, an advisory board has been constituted to provide strategic leadership and guidance to the network. The board is made up of young professionals within the agricultural value chain such as YPARD Ghana, Trotro Tractor Ltd, MFARM among others. YPARD Ghana has positioned itself to cooperate extensively with MASO Youth Network to provide the visibility and voice needed to influence policy and youth within the cocoa landscape of Ghana.

The MASO Youth Network Advisory Board include Kafui Agbe, Kamal Yakubu, Leticia Yankey, Kwabena Assan-Mends and Akosua Adayi.

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  • Ghana
  • Promote agriculture among young people
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Sustaining the paradigm shift

Agriculture is key to long-term economic growth and food security.

Increasingly, rural economic growth plays a critical role in Nigeria’s successful job creation, economic diversity, improved security and sustainable economic growth. Thus focusing policy instruments and private sector investments will ensure that the commercialization of agriculture includes technologies, financial services, inputs supply chains, and market linkages that directly engage youth and rural poor farmers In line with the vision to harness the golden opportunities that agribusiness presents. 

African Farming hosted the second edition of the Agribusiness Summit at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja from 27th to 28th August 2019. This was aimed at creating a cohesive platform for trade and investment opportunities. The summit attracted top government officials, policymakers, importers, distributors, food companies, processors, agribusiness owners, major investors, farmer associations and youth networks.

The keynote speaker was Mr Devakumar V.G Edwin, Group Executive Director- Strategy, Capital Project and Portfolio Development, Dangote Industries Ltd who spoke on the topic “Overview on agriculture in Nigeria”. This address placed emphasis on the agribusiness climate, agricultural development as well as policy regulations and laws. According to him, agriculture employs 37 percent of the population. He added that this is against the backdrop of the 23 percent unemployment rate in the country. He called for an increase in private sector investments to drive the industry.

Prof. Ibrahim Umar Abubakar, Executive Director of the Institute of Agricultural Research Zaria made a presentation on Nigeria’s journey to becoming the largest producer of rice in Africa; and the importance of implementing better crop management through improving the marketability of crops as well as creating awareness about soil management.

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  • Nigeria
  • Promote agriculture among young people
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Quick highlights - EFITA conference 2019

Information and communication technology (ICT) evolves at lightning speed. It became part of our everyday life, so it is the very time to set them even more in the service of agriculture to compete for food and nutrition security.

Continuing the series, started in 1997 in Copenhagen, Denmark, the actual 12th EFITA conference was held in Rhodes Island, Greece, between 27-29 June, with the well-defined aims to bring together professionals and practitioners to share knowledge about actual and future use of ICT in the agrifood and bio-resource sectors. The dedicated focus of the conference was “digitizing agriculture”.

The conference was supported by the most important professional organizations in the field, such as the European Federation for Information Technology in Agriculture, Food and the Environment (EFITA) with the collaboration of the World Congress on Computers in Agriculture (WCCA), the Hellenic Association for Information and Communication Technologies in Agriculture, Food and Environment (HAICTA), and the International Commission of Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering (CIGR) Section VII (Information Technology).

Thanks to the partial support of YPARD and of my institution (Kaposvar University, Hungary), I had a chance to participate, both as a presenter and as the board member of EFITA, also I introduced YPARD at the event.

In the first-day keynote speeches, we heard about smart irrigation and precision agriculture technologies from recognized experts in the field.

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  • Hungary
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Leadership and organic agriculture

The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) is an umbrella organization that is aimed at leading, uniting and assisting the organic movement worldwide with its full diversity.

Staying true to its core values IFOAM Organics International organizes an Organic Leadership Course (OLC) every year. Each year the organizers choose a new country connected to organic agriculture. In 2019, the OLC was held in Lithuania, from 22 of June till 29 of June. We learn a lot about the organic sector. In our training group including 20 participants, we learn the following main topics: Organic agriculture pioneers, history, principals, Organic guarantee systems, Certification, Standards and regulations, Alternative systems: ICS, PGS.

As a plant protection specialist involved in the ''Building Organic Agriculture in Armenia (BOAA)'' project I was fortunate enough to participate in the OLC course this year. Because the BOAA project team is developing an organic agriculture master's program curriculum and as part of this team, it was very important for me to be aware of global developments in organic agriculture, fundamentals of organic and share my knowledge with the rest of the team. IFOAM provides a partial scholarship to selected candidates, so those who are interested in organics may apply for this unique opportunity. My participation in this course was also possible thanks to partial funding received from the Austrian Partnership Programme in Higher Education and Research for Development (APPEAR) program. The OLC course this year encompassed a diverse range of topics, including fundamentals of the organic sector, organic value chains, and organic guarantee systems to name a few. Aside from the indoor training sessions, we had a unique chance to visit the Auga group, which has 38,000 hectares of ecologically certified fields. 

In addition to the 8 days face to face course, we will also have webinars throughout the year where our trainers give more detailed information about these topics: International project environment, IFOAM advocacy, Organic 3.0 developments. 

The second part of the OLC course will be held in Germany in 2020. For that part, we will explore more about third-party certification and will present an organic sector development strategy we have been working on individually for our own countries. The author of the winning strategy will join the annual Biofach event in Germany. I would be very excited to join Biofach, as it is the biggest organic trade fair in the world. 

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  • Armenia
  • Sharing Information and connecting people
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My Songhai farm experience

Out of my desire to acquire new knowledge and skills, and my quest to understand the nitty-gritty of integrated farming systems, I and my colleagues recently embarked on a week-long sojourn to Songhai Integrated Production and Training CentreThis is a farm nestled in a 22-hectare parcel of land in the Ouando neighbourhood of Porto Novo, the Republic of Benin.

Established in 1985 by Father Godfrey Nzamujo, a Dominican priest and native of Nigeria, the Songhai Regional Center has been recognized as ‘Centre of Excellence’ by the United Nations (UN) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The farm has a staff strength of about 2,000 workers which allows for efficient operations at the training and administrative units of the center, as well as on production fields and at sales points.

The center is responsible for training more than 500 students and receives over 20,000 visitors every year. This contributes to agro-tourism and agripreneurship. In addition, Songhai Centre operates as a decentralized business model underpinned by sustainable agriculture and integrated farming systems with four additional centers in Benin Republic and many others spread across Africa including Nigeria, DRC Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, amongst others.

On arrival, the center looks serene from the outside, but a walk down the entrance leads to a beehive of activities in the various functional units of the center including workshops, a supermarket, an agro-shop, processing ventures, industrial zones, as well as research and training farms.

At exactly 8:00 AM (GMT+1) on Monday, July 22, 2019, my team – like many other visitors from within and outside Benin – got ready to begin a technical tour of the production and industrial facilities. We started with an introductory session about the history of Songhai Regional Center including its core philosophy, vision, and key achievements over the past 34 years. With guidance from Mr. Gerald (a staff of Songhai), our team visited different sections and units of the farm including poultry, fishery, a section for pastry, and crop production units. Other units visited included the juice processing, palm oil processing, feed mill, compost preservation and biogas system units.

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  • Nigeria
  • Promote agriculture among young people
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YPARD representation at the EFARD management team

In a bid to ensure a diverse representation of young people in various executive meetings and committees YPARD has nominated Kristina Kuznetsova as the new YPARD Representative in the European Forum on Agricultural Research for Development (EFARD) management team.

What is the European Forum on Agricultural Research for Development (EFARD)?

EFARD is an umbrella network of European research and non- research stakeholders from the public and private European organisations and the European Commission. It aims to strengthen her contribution in poverty alleviation, food security, and sustainable development in developing countries by providing a platform for strategic dialogue among European stakeholders in order to promote research partnerships between European and Southern research communities. EFARD follows the principles of the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) and contributes to GFAR’s Global Plan of Action, in partnership with the other GFAR regional fora.

The EFARD management team is made up of 5-6 persons; the Chair, Vice-Chair and Executive Secretary and 2-3 other members representing a broad range of stakeholder groups and national fora of member countries. Aligning with the same mission, YPARD has been represented in the EFARD management team for several years. The first YPARD representative was André Stucki a member of YPARD Switzerland and later Rahel Wyss, YPARD Switzerland country representative. And now we are delighted in having Kristina, YPARD Ukraine country representative carry on with YPARD’s work with EFARD.

More about Kristina and her role in the EFARD management team

Kristina is a young agricultural entrepreneur and consultant who has been working in the agricultural field for 8 years. She holds a Master’s degree in International Horticulture and has graduated with honors from the University of Bologna, Italy. She has been with YPARD as the Ukraine country representative for the past 5 years. Currently, she is an M&E team lead working at MEDA as Monitoring, Evaluation and Marketing Manager in the Ukrainian Horticulture Business Development Project, which is supported by the Government of Canada and implemented by MEDA. The project aims to increase revenues of 44000 fruit and vegetable smallholder producers in the south of Ukraine and connect them to markets.

Think Kristina is great? Well, in addition to all that is mentioned above she is also the co-founder of an open data knowledge platform greenval.org that allows Ukrainian farmers to select the most appropriate fertilizers, pesticides and production schemes. The platform was awarded 500 000 UAH at Ukrainian Open Data Competition. Prior to these activities, she has also been a Managing Director of Datalab Agro Ukraine, a Swiss company that developed and implemented farm management systems. Kristina is an Alumni of the World food systems Center (WFSC) and Norwegian-Ukrainian Young Entrepreneurs (NUCC YE) Program. Kristina’s professional interests are in bringing research and innovations to the field and farmers, projects related to AgTech, product development, and marketing.

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  • Ukraine
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15 latest developments in the revised YPARD Charter

In the spring of 2018, select YPARDians came together at the Czech University of Life Sciences to deliberate on the strategic direction YPARD should take. Part of those discussions centred on the governance structure of YPARD and the dire need for a review as highlighted in the YPARD 2017 external review.

The Charter was last revised in 2014 and we have seen a lot of changes since then. As a member-driven network engaged the network members on the review process starting from November 2018 and finally ending in July 2019.

The third version of the Charter was democratically approved by members and the YPARD Steering Committee and incorporates some suggestions made by the 2017 external review and 2018 strategic planning meeting

Some of the notable changes include

The change in the YPARD vision and mission as per the strategic meeting in the spring of 2018.

The replacement of the YPARD guiding principles with the new YPARD values.

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  • Italy
  • Promote agriculture among young people
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Welcoming the new YPARD Steering Committee Chair and Vice Chair

At YPARD, we believe in structures that renew themselves and leadership that evolves in accordance with the network governance.

In April 2019, the Steering Committee (SC) members met to choose the next SC team members. The only eligible members for renewal were Rahul Antao and Sithembile Mwamakamba. The outgoing SC unanimously voted them into the position of the chair and the vice-chair respectively.

I had a chat with both Rahul and Tembi to capture the energy and the enthusiasm they are seeking to bring to their respective roles. Enjoy reading the interview below;

Emmie Wachira: Congratulations on your appointment to the YPARD SC Chair and vice-chair positions. Could you briefly introduce yourself?

Rahul Antao: Thank you, Emmie. When I first joined YPARD, I did a bio and nothing much has changed then. In a nutshell, I have been working as a consultant at the IFAD rural youth desk for the last 3 years. Apart from my day to day work, I am interested in music, chess and gardening.

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  • Italy
  • Access to resources and capacity building
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Creating opportunities for rural youth: The moment, the challenges and the future

An opportunity presented itself for young people to contribute to the recently launched 2019 Rural Development Report on rural development by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). 

The focus of the report was on creating opportunities for rural youth and was launched at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy. It goes without saying that the importance of young people owning dialogues and contributing to topics on development can no longer be overlooked. 

As a member of YPARD Kenya, currently doing an MSc in international land and water management at Wageningen University and Research, it was a great opportunity to sit with policymakers and other young professionals to share my experiences as an agronomist and my work in rural advisory services. A particular significance for me in this event is highlighted on how young professionals in higher education can leverage in the policymaking process.

According to the IFAD report, there are about 500 million young people (15-24 years) living in rural areas, especially in developing countries, where the average population age is on a continuous decrease. This trend is accompanied by several challenges and has been highlighted in global development policies including the Sustainable development goals.

As part of this report, attention was paid to the ever-important but more so contemporarily pertinent questions of how to secure futures (of the earth and societies) and ensure continuous improvement in the quality of lives via rural transformation. The report by IFAD highlighted three defining points that are important to create opportunities for rural youth in shaping these discourses; the need to be productive, to be connected and to be in charge of their own future.

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  • Kenya
  • Sharing Information and connecting people
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Welcoming YPARD Kenya Representative: Phidel Hazel Arunga

YPARD is delighted to welcome Phidel Hazel Arunga as the Country Representative of YPARD Kenya.

Phidel is a graduate with a master’s degree in Monitoring and Evaluation from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and a Bachelor in Environmental Planning and Management from the University of Eldoret.

Phidel’s application stood out from the several applications submitted to the call for applications for the position of YPARD Kenya representative. Prior to this, she had been acting as the representative for the chapter after Emmanuel Ngore’s term of office as representative.

Phidel has been working as a Programs Executive for Retouch Africa International for four years. She supported the program of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) and the second-generation National Agricultural Investment Plan (NAIP) domestication for Kenya. She was part of the mentoring team of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program technical networks for knowledge management, policy analysis and mutual accountability.

Phidel has been interested in agriculture since childhood despite coming from a non-agricultural background. This excitement grew into a passion that saw her join the network of Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD). As she became more involved in agricultural activities, she became the Youth Focal Person in Agricultural Policy Dialogues and Development for the Youth in Agribusiness Strategy and Agricultural Sector Growth and Transformation Strategy (ASGTS). Because of her passion for youth involvement in agriculture, she is a member of the CAADP Youth Network, Africa – Korea Agripreneurs Business Network and is currently championing the formation of a National Agricultural Youth Consortium to give a voice to the Kenyan youth and increase their involvement in the agricultural sector.

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  • Kenya
  • Promote agriculture among young people
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Our Annual Report for 2018 is out!

At YPARD, we are proud to look back at the successes and exciting initiatives of the network. 2018 was a strategic year at YPARD that saw a lot of changes to the network’s strategic orientation with particular reference to the strategic planning meeting. These top achievements include;

We welcomed 14 new team members to the YPARD team including twelve new country representatives and two communications focal points. Additionally, national teams- Netherlands, RDC, Nepal, Nigeria and Peru increasingly organized YPARD Cafés or other gatherings to discuss key national issues that are in the interest of YPARD.

A successful strategic planning meeting held in the YPARD Europe coordination unit. With the YPARD business plan 2014-2018 coming to a close, in the spring of 2018, YPARD held a strategic planning workshop in Prague to chart a path forward for the network in the coming years. The 3 days discussions culminated in a draft which as refined to the current strategic plan which constitutes new vision and mission and values.

Signing of the MOU between YIL and GLF in 2018 with the aim of working towards the mutual agenda of strengthening the activities of young people in the landscape sectors.

Successful development of the mentoring toolkit as part of a GFAR Collective Action funded by the Global Forum on Agricultural Research and Innovation (GFAR) and the European Union. The toolkit is a how-to guide that synthesizes a decade of learnings and resources from hundreds of agriculture and forestry mentoring programs implemented by Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD), the International Forestry Students’ Association (IFSA) and African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD).

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  • Italy
  • Sharing Information and connecting people
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YPARD Tanzania: Call for Country Representative

After a successful end of term for the Tanzania representative, Juma Bruno Ngomuo, YPARD is looking for a passionate and dedicated young professional to take up the position of YPARD representative in Tanzania.

To meet its goals, YPARD works with young professionals on a regional, national or local level to undertake activities at a more geographically appropriate level. YPARD is looking for a Tanzanian representative to contribute actively to a growing YPARD and help YPARD achieve its ambitious goals.

Roles and activities of the YPARD Tanzania Representative

Under the supervision of the Africa coordinator, the Tanzania YPARD Representative will undertake the following activities:

  • Represent and be an ambassador for YPARD in the country or region;
  • Make connections with relevant youth and agricultural development organizations in your country or region;
  • Publicize YPARD in your country or region and encourage more YPs to sign up;
  • Provide updates on activities related to youth and agricultural development in your region and communicate these activities to the regional coordinating units (RCUs).
  • Actively work on the local plan and management of activities by forming a local working group which consists of active YPs;
  • Motivate YPs in your country or region to get involved;
  • Implement activities to address the declining interest in agriculture among young people;
  • Work to make the voice of the youth heard within your own institution;
  • Strive to bring youth issues to the fore in broader strategic and political discussions.

Kindly note that this is a voluntary position (not salaried).

Requirements

  • Be a Young Professional (less than 40 years old);
  • Be a national of Tanzania;
  • Be active in Agricultural Development (including young professional engaged in: agribusiness, agro processing, farming, ranching, pastoralism, agro-advisory service, agro-informatics-ICT);
  • Be willing to make a difference and represent YPs from your region;
  • Be ready to commit time and effort to the YPARD movement.

Before the YPARD representative is selected, the candidate is expected to have demonstrated commitment to YPARD by being an active member in the YPARD network. An active member may have already organised an event, engaged in some of these activities and/or organized or participated in online events and or knowledge sharing.

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  • United Republic of Tanzania
  • Promote agriculture among young people
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Shining the YPARD light at the FAO conference Youth side event

On the sidelines of the annual FAO Conference,41st session a youth event dubbed Real Action on Youth – Driving the Future of Agriculture was organized.  

The event, sponsored by the Government of the Netherlands, aimed at giving the attendees a clear understanding of what policy actions are needed on Youth, as well as ideas of ways in which a Youth Council could be mobilized as a resource to contribute meaningfully to their work. The event also gave the young people who have been involved with the working group on the Youth Council a valuable opportunity to interact directly with those actors whose work the Youth Council aims to support and enhance. 

Among the young panellists was Jim Cano who was representing YPARD. I caught up with Jim afterwards to get an in-depth view of the Youth Council deliberations so far. Enjoy the interview below. 

Emmie: Congratulations on being appointed as the YPARD Global Focal point person for the Rome Based Agencies (RBA) Youth Council. Please tell us more, what is the RBA youth Council?

Jim: The RBA Youth Council is a platform where various international organizations that work with and for youth in agriculture come together to bring the voice of youth to the United Nations’ Food Agencies or also known as the RBAs: FAO, IFAD, WFP.

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  • Italy
  • Creating opportunities for policy debate
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