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If agriculture is an aging profession, we need to make some changes!

"Ask a young person what they wish for their future, and very few will mention agriculture.Whether as a farmer, researcher or extension officer, the production of food tends to be a last resort, not the positive choice of an ambitious young man or woman.This of course raises a fundamental question: who will grow the crops to feed the world?"…writes Keron Bascombe in the intro of an article he recently published in the New Agriculturist.Keron, a young agricultural professional from Trinidad and Tobago, and an active blogger, was one of our 35 onsite social reporters at GCARD2, the recently held Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development. In a previous post we described the background and outputs of this project, which assembled 136 youngsters from 44 countries, and its coaching team of YPARD, CGIAR and GFAR.Keron describes our GCARD2 capacity building project as “truly a life changing event for many of the young professionals who participated”. That by itself is already quite an achievement, I would think. But our ideas were bigger! We wanted to “Make agriculture cool again” and have our GCARD2 social reporting team engage the youth through a continuous effort, rather than just a blip, a flicker of enthusiasm.Now, two months later, we can already see their entrepreneurial spirit was not a flicker, it sparked a bush fire! So, it was time to list their post-GCARD initiatives:These are just a handful of initiatives these young professionals started. And we want to expand this. Why? Well, as an answer to Keron’s question: “Who will grow the crops to feed the world?“. As he replies himself: “Ultimately, there can only be one answer: young people.”So one of our approaches is: If we mobilize young agricultural professionals, through social media, they will enthuse their brethren and sisters. And maybe, just maybe, we will then turn agriculture a “young” rather than an “aging” profession.Are you a young professional and interested in the power of social media to bring out your messages? Join our (very) active YPARD social media team administrated by YPARD’s Marina Cherbonnier. Send her a “I want to be part of it”-email via: marina.cherbonnier (at) and she will plug you into the team.We are young, and we are going to change the world. Watch us!Blog by Peter Casier (CGIAR) crossposted on GCARD blog and