The YPARD Coordinator was invited by Steering Committee member Nadia Manning to co-facilitate a session on youth and agriculture knowledge at the Share Fair in Addis Ababa. The fair provided a good networking platform and a chance to improve YPARD’s knowledge sharing activities.
Two agricultural magazines are planning issues targeted towards youth in the new year, the New Agriculturalist and Farming Matters. Both call for papers will be advertised through the YPARD website and YPARD hopes to add information to the publications to inform young professionals reading the magazine and expand our network.
One of the largest problems that was discussed at the ShareFair is the lack of communication across disciplines. This is one area where YPARD can move to a new way of thinking by opening the lines of communication between different disciplines and teaching the younger generation how to look beyond their own discipline. This is the new type of professional that we want!
The YPARD coordinator co-facilitated a session on youth and agricultural knowledge. Some very interesting ideas came out of the session which included:
How do make agriculture ‘cool’ for the young generation? One move in the right direction is the 4K clubs in Kenyan schools encourage more experiential learning on agriculture and food production making learning more exciting and practical.
What’s the role of parents in helping their children and youth develop interest in agriculture? We are encouraging youth to get into entrepreneurship but not in agribusiness. Why and how can we change this? Who is going to grow all the food that we need if we continue to push the children and youth out of the farm?
Journalism and agriculture may be more appealing to youth across Africa- where we broadcast and showcase youth best practices? We should look at the documentation of lessons learnt from youth who are already engaging in agriculture and rural development will be one way to motivate other youth across Africa to get involved.
Mentors and coachers for inspiring the youth to get involved in agriculture. How can we build upon this? Are there any best practices?
Is there money in farming?
Youth have the capacity for innovation which should direct towards sustainable agriculture.
Agriculture is rarely a first choice for students going to the university, thus they study it without a passion. How and when can we change this?