What is the purpose of this and what do you gain from it?
YPARD team believes that sharing experience enables:
informing on good practices and lessons learned
generating thoughts and ideas for optimizing activities
inspiring each other for more innovation and entrepreneurship
This is how Danilo Moreta perceives the constant challenge that being a young researcher means to him. Danilo, an agronomist of the Escuela Agricola Panamericana "Zamorano" in Honduras, has always perceived nature as something mysterious, magical and full of charm, notions which make up much of his motivation for having decided to become a researcher.
Today he has a Master's degree in biology, obtained from the Universidad del Valle in Colombia, and that in itself is the result of a "happy accident". It is the expression used by Danilo to describe the set of experiences that directed him to discover his passion for applied research and change his initial interest in organic production by applied biotechnology: "a practical workshop for only one week in Zamorano was a turning point that changed my professional life plan and made me see in biotechnology an open door for a new adventure of knowledge."
When I was a child, my grandfather always talked about his life in Santiago de Chuco a village located in the highlands of Peru - and how much he wished he hadnt left it. As a lot of people, my grandparents had to travel to a major city (Trujillo, capital of La Libertad) because in Santiago there weren´t basic public services and their children suffered a lot.
However, I could feel a lot of passion for rural world in my grandfather´s words He missed beauty and peace of the highlands a lot. Therefore, I decided to be an Animal Scientist when I was only 8 years old because I wanted to work improving the quality of life of animal farmers in rural areas of my country dreaming that someday they may have the same opportunities in their own places.
I felt lucky to be one of the twelve young scientists of YPARD to raise voice of youth`s thinking at the platform of CGIAR Science Forum in Beijing, 2011.
This platform gave me to interact with experts and scientist, sharing knowledge with them and present message of youths at the dais of highest level of agriculture researcher. In respect of my area of interest in agro biodiversity, I heard about new dimensions of agricultural research, practices and gearing up the national economy with considering the environment and ecology as a whole green economy from the conference. I have seen presentation of eco-agriculture, renewable bioenergy, plant-microbe interactions; learnt about hydroponics and indoor flower and fruit cultivation by field visits.
From the 29th to 31st of May 2012, I attended the Expert workshop to review the proposal for establishing the GFAR Global Foresight Academy: African Chapter. I was selected by YPARD in collaboration with GFAR, to represent African Young Professionals particularly young women with an interest or capacity in forward looking. My participation and contributions would give a youth approach into designing the Foresight Academy. The meeting was hosted by Dr Lance O’Brien, Teagasc Head office in Dublin, Ireland.
I had a vision to start a company when I graduated from the Njala University in 2009, in Sierra Leone. I shared this vision with three of my friends, they were positive about it and encouraged that I extend the invitation to the whole class of seven Agricultural Engineering students.
The problems was unemployment especially for agriculture graduates, it was a trend that graduates from this discipline would only secure an agricultural related job after six years. All the available employers in the country would ask for employees with a minimum of five years of experience. I was really disturbed with this truth but with the passion I had for the discipline, I rather get colleagues and myself doing something on our own.
I believe that we as Young Professionals in Agricultural Research for Development can have a big impact by thinking about innovative practices, technologies and approaches in our working domains. Therefore I would hereby like to share an example of such an innovative approach to show other YPs how we can increase the effects of our efforts by linking other working domains to our own.
Michael Kwabena Osei is a young scientist from Ghana. His work has been recognized through the Ist Ghana Science Congress Awards in August 2011 where he won a Bronze award (Cash prize, lap top and Citation) as the National Best Young Scientist, initiated by the government of Ghana through the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology (MEST). Michael is the first Ghanaian scientist to have reported the discovery of three new distinct tomato virus strains associated with Tomato Yellow Leaf curl Virus (TYLCV) disease in Ghana. This outstanding discovery has been published in the American Plant Disease Journal.
I first entered the YPARD website in early 2011 through a link from CTA’s Knowledge for Development web portal which I explore often. I always see the YPARD logo/icon on the site but continued to ignore it since I did not know what doors it could open for me. After finishing what I was doing on that fateful day, a thought flashed my mind to click on the logo/icon and see what it meant. That click changed my professional life for the better.
Inside the YPARD website, I saw astounding things-gamut of links to opportunities for research fellowships, conferences, workshops, trainings, publications and possible networking partners and opportunities in the field of ARD. Example, from the site, I was linked to a call for applications for 2011/2012 ACU Titular Research Fellowship (University of Manitoba Fellowship) which I applied for and was awarded the fellowship to carry out research on a neglected bean, Sennaspps, at the Department of Biosystems Engineering, University of Manitoba, Canada.
To me, the first benefit expected from discussions about youth in Agricultural Research for Development is sharing experiences and validating observations and hypothesis: are difficulties met by the youth in different regions of the world the same? If so, are the solutions to these issues specific to their context or can we find transversal elements?
During the conference I tried visiting the YPARD booth and see what was going on. There I met and spoke with people, young and old who came around. From my discussion with people, I discovered that the fears that motivated and justified the incorporation of YPARD are real and have a global reach. Visitor after visitor especially from Africa, Latin America and Asia lament the disdain of the youth for a career in agriculture.
I spoke to young men and women from Africa and their insights were refreshing. I made many friends. I exchanged many business cards with people from different continents and countries. I know these contacts would be useful in the nearest future, to further my career and the cause of YPARD. Now I count on friends from all continents of the world.
I was sponsored by YPARD to attend the CGIAR Science Forum 2011 in Beijing. As a young researcher this gave me the opportunity to express my views on the future of agricultural research at both global and regional levels.
Being a YPARD member helps me get connected to the recent information in agricultural research and thus gives me an impetus to work hard on how I can apply my research skills to improve lives of people. If you are not yet a YPARD member, you don’t know what you are missing!!!
My long term benefits as YPARD member? First and for most I have created a link with other agricultural extension experts through YPARD e-discussions. This will help me continue interacting with them even after the e-discussions.
I will also bring out some of the issues that will be highlighted as being challenges and opportunities for young people and agriculture extension service and discuss with management at my workplace and see how best such issues can be handled by policy makers in Zambia, so as to make agricultural extension more attractive for young people. This may be a long term undertaking. It might not bring results immediately, but will one day be done.
"I am adventurous and like participating in activities that make a difference in society. In two months of joining YPARD, I got to achieve some of my aspirations. This was in capacity as one of the 12 YPARD representatives at the CGIAR Science Forum in Beijing.
In Beijing, I got to meet and exchange ideas with friends from a variety of nations, interact with delegates within and beyond the organizations of CGIAR and experience the adventure of traveling over sees and witnessing a little of the beautiful Chinese Culture. YPARD is playing a key role in youth capacity building amidst the various global competitive youth pressures of suppression like, unemployment and resource scarcity. So, go YPARD!"
"When you interview a young professional in ARD, you can feel his/her great energy, desires, ideas, projects, and dreams that they share with you so spontaneously. This experience let you know that there are young people out there that are committed and thinking in how to make possible a better live, a better planet for their country, their region. I think YPARD can become in one of the channels that allow them to participate properly in current decision making scenarios where their commitment with the future can be endorsed, stimulated and taken in to account as is needed".
'As a youth in agriculture, YPARD has given me the opportunity to share my ideas on issues related to youth and agriculture on their platform through articles and discussion forums. I have been able to connect with other youths from different countries and backgrounds who have same objective as me, and together, we have been able to voice our opinions on subjects that matter to us to Policy makers at International Conferences.'
I feel that YPARD is opening doors for young researchers all over the world. Their access and exchange of information, network and opportunities between global young professionals is crucial for present and future agricultural developments and policies.
YPARD as an international knowledge network offers room for young professionals to voice their ideas which otherwise might not have been heard. I met so many interesting people through YPARD, and through their forum and news I stay updated on the latest issues and discussions in the agricultural domain in whatever part of the world!
Así responde Édgar Torres cuando se le pregunta por el camino que ha recorrido desde su llegada al CIAT, hace poco más de 10 años, inicialmente para trabajar como enlace entre el Fondo Latinoamericano para Arroz de Riego (FLAR) y la Fundación Nacional del Arroz (Fundarroz), entidad nacional arrocera de Venezuela; hasta su actual responsabilidad como fitomejorador en el programa de Arroz del CIAT.
Paralelo a esta responsabilidad, Édgar también se desempeña como líder de producto para el desarrollo de Híbridos para América Latina en la Alianza Global para la Investigación en Arroz (acrónimo GRiSP), uno de los 15 programas de investigación del Consorcio del Grupo Consultivo para la Investigación Agrícola Internacional (CGIAR, por su sigla en inglés).