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Trainees being addressed by Chidinma Ezeh, Program Officer, YPARD NIGERIA

YPARD Nigeria partnered with Roddenberry Foundation to empower rural women farmers in Nigeria in climate resilient agricultural production techniques. 

Following the theme of the International Womens day 2024 - #Inspire Inclusion; YPARD Nigeria held the event titled 'Economic Empowerment as a Panacea for Financial Inclusion for Women in Africa'. The event was held on 16th March 2023, in Asher Farms, Ibadan Nigeria where over 100 rural women farmers were trained. The event was was sponsored by the Roddenberry Foundation.

Farming clusters were identified before the event, and representatives from all these clusters were present at the event. The women were taught climate resilient farming techniques in vegetable production and aquaculture. They were also empowered with seeds, fertilizers and other farm inputs. 

Image: Trainees with facilitator IfeOluwa Oyeyemi, FarmHelp LTD, planting with seed trays and cocoa peat


During the workshop, Ifeoluwa Oyeyemi, the CEO FarmHelp Ltd facilitated the vegetable production training session. The women were introduced to new seed varieties, seed trays as growing media, cocoa peat and climate smart techniques to ensure more efficient food production.

 

Image: Trainees gathered around fish ponds with YPARD Nigeria Country Representative, Akin Showemimo

They participants were also presented with innovative aquaculture techniques by Akin Showemimo, YPARD Nigeria Country Representative. Akin encourgaed the women to ensure their farms were sustainable, and introduced Wofia as an economically viable and nature based solution to tackle the rising costs of fish feed production costs.
 
Nutrition is a rising challenge the world over, and this topic was also covered at the event. Atinuke Lebile, YPARD Nigeria Board Member, CEO Cato Foods and a foremost nutrition champion in Nigeria, discussed healthy nutrition choices for families, giving the participants suggestions and recommendations. One of the trainees at the event appreciated YPARD for the event, stating that she has seen gaps in the nursing of her vegetables and hoped to imbibe the insights gained at the event at home. She also identified food processing as one of the challenges to avoid post harvest losses. The women representing the farming clusters nominated a leader for the program, following which evaluation and monitoring procedures were discussed and agreed upon to ensure adequate evaluation of the trainees food production after the program.

View clips from the event here.

YPARD Nigeria is open to further developmental work and partnerships. Individuals or organizations inspired by their dedicated community work can support, partner, and collaborate with them on similar projects. For further engagements, reach out to YPARD Nigeria via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The following people were key in planning and managing the program: 

Isaiah Akindunbi, Communication Focal Person, YPARD Nigeria; 
Olaoluwa Farotimi, South West Regional Representative; YPARD Nigeria 
Mrs Betty Showemimo (Development Agenda for Western Nigeria DAWN Commission)

El encuentro Juventud Rural Futuro Sostenible dio pie a la formación de una nueva 'Coalición Latinoamericana de Juventudes por el Desarrollo Rural' The Rural Youth for a Sustainable Future meeting led to the formation of a new 'Latin American Youth Coalition for Rural Development'

 

Las juventudes representantes de organizaciones reunidas en Palmira-Valle del Cauca, Colombia del 15 al 16 de noviembre de 2023, en ocasión del “Encuentro Latinoamericano de Jóvenes por el Desarrollo Rural” unimos nuestras voces y esfuerzos de diferentes países de América Latina y el Caribe, demostrando el poder colectivo, la pasión y la lucha para generar soluciones conjuntas a los desafíos que nos enfrentamos relacionados con la agricultura familiar, campesina, étnica, popular y comunitaria, el acceso a la tierra y otros recursos, los sistemas agroalimentarios, otros medios de subsistencia, la crisis climática, la toma de decisiones democráticas y la generación e implementación de políticas públicas específicas para la juventud rural. Con nuestro fuerte compromiso y vibrante energía, nos dedicamos a crear un futuro justo para las juventudes rurales en toda su diversidad1 en el que los derechos de estas sean reconocidos, asegurados y respetados. Conocemos el inmenso poder colectivo de las juventudes rurales para innovar y crear un futuro sostenible, encontrando soluciones a los problemas regionales, a los que todas y todos nos enfrentamos.

 

Es con este espíritu que presentamos este Manifiesto, con nuestra comprensión compartida sobre los principales problemas a los que se enfrentan las juventudes rurales en relación a la adaptación y a la Crisis Climática, Jóvenes en espacios de toma de decisiones, Emprendimiento y Empleabilidad, Ciencia, Innovación y Transformación Digital, Acceso y Gobernanza De La Tierra y Agua, y Temas Transversales. Este manifiesto se actualizará cada año en el marco del “Encuentro Latinoamericano de Jóvenes por el Desarrollo Rural Sostenible”, y se evaluará el progreso y alcance de las metas propuestas a corto, mediano y largo plazo 2.

 

ADAPTACIÓN Y CRISIS CLIMÁTICA

 

Las juventudes rurales nos vemos especialmente afectadas por la crisis climática. No sólo carecemos de recursos diversos para afrontarla, sino que además sufrimos sus efectos. Esto nos hace más vulnerables y marginados, y a menudo nos obliga a abandonar las tierras. Lo anterior, tiene efecto en el acceso muy limitado a los fondos disponibles para la mitigación y adaptación a la crisis climática. Los efectos desbocados de esta situación nos privan a las juventudes de oportunidades y causan un impacto duradero en los medios de vida y los sistemas agroalimentarios, contribuyendo a la marginalización, migración y desencanto de las juventudes por lo rural.

 

Frente a estos desafíos proponemos:

 

  1. Abogar por una inversión con seriedad, urgencia y garantía en sistemas agroalimentarios aplicando enfoques innovadores, agroecológicos3 y comunitarios a través de un marco sostenible y de soberanía alimentaria.
  2. Incentivar el uso sostenible de las contribuciones de la naturaleza a través de mecanismos como la bioeconomía y empleos verdes.
  3. Incidir en los escenarios de participación para que se aplique el marco internacional de derechos humanos relacionados con los conocimientos ancestrales y tradicionales del Convenio sobre la Diversidad Biológica.
  4. Incentivar y fortalecer la participación efectiva de los procesos organizativos de la sociedad civil en el monitoreo y reporte de avances de cumplimiento de las Contribuciones Nacionales Determinadas (NDC) y los Planes de Acción Nacional frente al Cambio Climático.
  5. Exigir a los Estados implementar acciones legales y administrativas contra las empresas y personas que contaminan el ambiente e incurren en delitos penales en el afán de extraer y explotar los bienes naturales comunes.
  6. Fortalecer capacidades técnicas y humanas4 para lograr la sostenibilidad y sustentabilidad ambiental, defensa civil comunitaria y resiliencia.

 

EMPRENDIMIENTO Y EMPLEABILIDAD

 

El empleo rural digno y el emprendimiento son factores claves para que las juventudes rurales cuenten con autonomía económica estable. Las políticas públicas sobre empleabilidad y emprendimiento de las juventudes en nuestros países no son claras ni suficientes, lo cual hace que tengamos que salir a los centros urbanos para subsistir. Esto es un reflejo de la crisis compleja que vive la región originada por las desigualdades de poder, el contexto político, económico y climático, entre otros, que generan inseguridad alimentaria en las comunidades más vulnerables de Latinoamérica y el Caribe. Es por ello que generar oportunidades de empleo bien remunerado y fortalecer emprendimientos juveniles en las zonas rurales es indispensable.

 

Frente a estos desafíos proponemos:

 

  1. Demandar políticas públicas que establezcan y amplíen fondos rotativos, incentivos fiscales y administrativos, líneas de crédito accesibles y descentralizadas para la creación de emprendimientos sociales y juveniles sostenibles en toda la cadena de suministro. 
  2. Promover y crear la articulación efectiva entre las comunidades rurales con los diferentes actores, como gobiernos, instituciones educativas y financieras, a través de redes sociales, talleres o ferias culturales y ambientales.
  3. Consolidar y fortalecer procesos de extensión y modelos educativos con metodologías como escuelas familiares, pedagogía de la alternancia, educación popular, entre pares y formación de formadores con enfoque de territorio, género y valorando los saberes ancestrales.
  4. Exigir la formación técnica y habilidades empresariales para una autonomía financiera.
  5. Articular una red de acompañamiento de jóvenes para la conformación y fortalecimiento de emprendimientos que permita la comercialización del producto final con valores agregados integrando la cultura, artes, artesanía, gastronomía, agroturismo y deporte.

 

CIENCIA, INNOVACIÓN Y TRANSFORMACIÓN DIGITAL

Actualmente en los diversos territorios, se presenta una brecha tecnológica, limitada por el acceso a la información, entre otras cosas por la geografía, la falta de orientación hacia la generación de material divulgativo e inversión en medios de comunicación, causando distorsión y manipulación de la información que se comparte hacia las áreas rurales. Considerando que la tecnología día a día se actualiza se hace más sofisticado tener acceso a ella. Aunado con lo anterior, la deficiencia en los programas adecuados para el logro de la transferencia de tecnología y la co-creación de soluciones con las juventudes rurales, provoca que no se cuente con las capacidades de adquirir o manejar nuevas tecnologías que permitan facilitar los procesos rurales.

Referencias

1. En el todo el manifiesto nos referimos a la diversidad de la juventud como: mujeres, hombres, Pueblos Originarios, agricultura familiar, población campesina, afrodescendientes, comunidades negras, pastores, pescadores, los y las no poseedores de tierra, personas con discapacidad, personas en contexto de movilidad humana y víctimas del conflicto armado, activistas, población LGBTIQ+ y otras comunidades locales.

2. Corto plazo: 1 año; Mediano Plazo 2 años; Largo Plazo 3-4 años.

3. La agroecología, según la FAO, es tanto una disciplina científica como un movimiento social y un conjunto de acciones.

4. Climatología, sistemas de alerta temprana, acceso a la tecnología e Inteligencia artificial al servicio de sus entornos.



English Version

The youth representatives of organizations gathered in Palmira-Valle del Cauca, Colombia from November 15 to 16, 2023, on the occasion of the "Latin American Meeting of Youth for Rural Development" we unite our voices and efforts from different countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, demonstrating the collective power, passion and struggle to generate joint solutions to the challenges we face related to family, peasant, ethnic, popular and community agriculture, access to land and other resources, agri-food systems, other livelihoods, the climate crisis, democratic decision making and the generation and implementation of specific public policies for rural youth. With our strong commitment and vibrant energy, we are dedicated to creating a just future for rural youth in all their diversity1 in which their rights are recognized, secured and respected. We know the immense collective power of rural youth to innovate and create a sustainable future by finding solutions to the regional problems we all face.

 

It is in this spirit that we present this Manifesto, with our shared understanding of the main issues facing rural youth in relation to adaptation and the Climate Crisis, Youth in decision-making spaces, Entrepreneurship and Employability, Science, Innovation and Digital Transformation, Access and Governance of Land and Water, and Cross-cutting Issues. This manifesto will be updated every year within the framework of the "Latin American Meeting of Youth for Sustainable Rural Development", and the progress and achievement of the proposed goals in the short, medium and long term will be evaluated2 .

 

ADAPTATION AND CLIMATE CRISIS

 

Rural youth are particularly affected by the climate crisis. Not only do we lack diverse resources to cope with it, but we also suffer from its effects. This makes us more vulnerable and marginalized, and often forces us to leave the land. This has an effect on the very limited access to funds available for mitigation and adaptation to the climate crisis. The runaway effects of this situation deprive youth of opportunities and have a lasting impact on livelihoods and agri-food systems, contributing to the marginalization, migration and disenchantment of youth with rural life.

 

In the face of these challenges we propose:

 

  1. Advocate for serious, urgent and guaranteed investment in agri-food systems using innovative, agroecological3 and community-based approaches through a sustainable and food sovereignty framework.
  2. Incentivize the sustainable use of nature's contributions through mechanisms such as the bioeconomy and green jobs.
  3. Advocate in participation scenarios for the application of the international human rights framework related to ancestral and traditional knowledge of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
  4. Encourage and strengthen the effective participation of civil society's organizational processes in monitoring and reporting on the progress of compliance with the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and the National Action Plans on Climate Change.
  5. Require States to implement legal and administrative actions against companies and individuals that pollute the environment and incur in criminal offenses in the eagerness to extract and exploit common natural resources.
  6. Strengthen technical and human capacities4 to achieve environmental sustainability and sustainability, community civil defense and resilience.

 

ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND EMPLOYABILITY

 

Decent rural employment and entrepreneurship are key factors for rural youth to have stable economic autonomy. Public policies on youth employability and entrepreneurship in our countries are neither clear nor sufficient, which means that we have to go to urban centers to survive. This is a reflection of the complex crisis in the region caused by power inequalities, the political, economic and climatic context, among others, which generate food insecurity in the most vulnerable communities in Latin America and the Caribbean. It is therefore essential to generate well-paid employment opportunities and strengthen youth entrepreneurship in rural areas.

 

In the face of these challenges we propose:

 

  1. Demand public policies that establish and expand revolving funds, fiscal and administrative incentives, accessible and decentralized credit lines for the creation of sustainable social and youth enterprises throughout the supply chain. 
  2. Promote and create effective articulation between rural communities and different actors, such as governments, educational and financial institutions, through social networks, workshops or cultural and environmental fairs.
  3. Consolidate and strengthen extension processes and educational models with methodologies such as family schools, pedagogy of alternation, popular education, peer education and training of trainers with a focus on territory, gender and valuing ancestral knowledge.
  4. Require technical training and entrepreneurial skills for financial autonomy.
  5. Articulate a network to support young people in the creation and strengthening of enterprises that allow the commercialization of the final product with added value, integrating culture, arts, crafts, gastronomy, agro-tourism and sports.

 

SCIENCE, INNOVATION AND DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

Currently in the different territories, there is a technological gap, limited by access to information, among other things due to geography, lack of orientation towards the generation of informative material and investment in the media, causing distortion and manipulation of the information that is shared in rural areas. Considering that technology is updated day by day, it becomes more sophisticated to have access to it. In addition to the above, the lack of adequate programs to achieve technology transfer and the co-creation of solutions with rural youth, leads to a lack of capacity to acquire or manage new technologies to facilitate rural processes.

 

References:

1. Throughout the manifesto we refer to the diversity of youth as: women, men, Indigenous Peoples, family agriculture, peasant population, Afro-descendants, black communities, pastoralists, fishermen, non-landowners, people with disabilities, people in the context of human mobility and victims of the armed conflict, activists, LGBTIQ+ population and other local communities.

2. Short term: 1 year; Medium term 2 years; Long term 3-4 years.

3. Agroecology, according to FAO, is both a scientific discipline and a social movement and set of actions.

4. Climatology, early warning systems, access to technology and artificial intelligence in the service of their environments.

 

 

We are delighted to welcome Mr. Nuriddin Samatov as the representative of the National Chapter in Uzbekistan for the YPARD community.

Nuriddin Samatov is an ICT specialist at the Research Institute of Environment and Nature Conservation Technologies of the Ministry of Ecology, Environmental Protection and Climate Change of the Republic of Uzbekistan. He is a promising researcher in the field of crop modeling, with a strong focus on leveraging the power of data and machine learning to improve agricultural practices and increase crop yields.

Nuriddin was a regional winning team member of the Tech4Good program in 2022, a program that recognizes young innovators who are developing innovative solutions to address Sustainable Development Goals. Recently, he was a visiting scholar at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing as part of the CAAS global young talents program. During his time at CAAS, he gained transformative experience and knowledge.

Furthermore, Nuriddin was a finalist and winning team member of the Global Call, part of the AgriTech4Uzbekistan Innovation Challenge. This challenge, powered by the CGIAR Accelerate for Impact Platform and co-designed with CGIAR centers ICARDA, IWMI, and the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, seeks innovative solutions in the field of agriculture. Nuriddin’s team developed an innovative solution called ‘IWater’ - a water management system. This solution was among the top tier of 579 applications submitted for the AgriTech4Uzbekistan Innovation Challenge and was selected among the top 10 teams.

Over the years, Nuriddin has worked in various capacities in the field of ICT and agriculture. This has enabled him to gain practical experience in building strategies and sharing compelling narratives on interdisciplinary topics.

Nuriddin is committed to identifying and establishing a well-connected hosting institution for the YPARD chapter in Uzbekistan. In addition, he is dedicated to forging collaborations with local universities and agricultural organizations, seeking partnerships that align with shared values and resources. These alliances are pivotal in laying a robust foundation for the diverse activities of YPARD in the region.

Furthermore, Nuriddin envisions the organization of a series of capacity-building seminars, conducted in collaboration with local experts and organizations. These seminars will hone in on key skills and knowledge areas essential for the development of young professionals in agriculture. By providing a platform for learning and skill enhancement, Nuriddin aims to empower the youth and strengthen their contribution to the agricultural sector.

As part of his comprehensive approach, Nuriddin plans to orchestrate a Youth Agripreneur Workshop designed to equip young individuals with entrepreneurial skills specific to agriculture. This interactive workshop will delve into crucial topics such as business planning, market analysis, and accessing funding opportunities. The overarching objective is to empower and prepare young agripreneurs for success in the dynamic landscape of agriculture. 

We look forward to the contributions Nuriddin will make to our community and the field of sustainable agriculture as the representative of the National Chapter in Uzbekistan.

Welcome, Nuriddin!

 

The Samburu Youth Climate Action Project, led by Zuhara Impact Organization, aims to improve opportunities for entrepreneurship and climate change mitigation and socio-labor of youths in vulnerable communities in Samburu, Kenya. It offers a solution to youth unemployment and promotes youth participation,  leadership and empowerment with a focus on environmental sustainability through social innovation and social entrepreneurship, enabling young people to identify social and environmental challenges in their communities and create business solutions to address them, marketing models to help their businesses grow/expand/ improve their operational efficiency.

YPARD Kenya supports the project by offering custom made mentorship to support youth owned agri enterprises develop climate smart Agricultural practices that are aligned for enterprise development in a sustainable and eco friendly way.

Below is a brief overview of the sessions conducted:

Session 1: Focused on establishing mentorship relationships and introducing mentees to YPARDKenya activities. Mentees shared their inspirations in agribusiness, set expectations, and discussed guidelines for collaboration. A workplan was also developed.

Session 2: Highlighted the importance of agriculture in nutrition and food security. Mentees learned about sustainable agriculture practices, strategies to ensure adequate nutrition and food security, and the impact of agricultural practices on health and well-being. Agronomic practices of various crops were discussed, including carrots, finger millet, cowpeas, sweet potatoes, kale, amaranth, bell pepper, spinach, groundnut, onions, and sorghum. Post-session activities included discussing traditional crops, and the role of Samburu County Government and development partners in addressing malnutrition and food insecurity.

Session 3: Focused on principles for agricultural transformation, exploring challenges and opportunities in agricultural transformation in Kenya. Post-session activities involved discussing agricultural transformation in Samburu County.

Session 4: Covered challenges faced by youth in agriculture and opportunities in agribusiness. These mentorship sessions aim to equip Samburu Climate Action Youths with the knowledge and skills needed to contribute effectively to sustainable agriculture and food security in their communities. Through practical learning and discussions, participants are empowered to address agricultural challenges and leverage opportunities for personal and community development.

Session facilitators include: Jenice Audi, Allan Migaili, Ivy Gloriah and Austine Dan


The team profiles for the Samburu Youth Climate Action Project:

The Idea Stage Entrepreneurs
These teams were formed during the 5-day climate change and entrepreneurship boot camp. They seek to implement their business from the idea stage and have received part seed funding to build prototypes.

1. Samburu Youth Basket
The team seeks to transform degraded landscapes into fertile farmlands for food production and promote collective action towards climate action and adaptation using permaculture model designs. Through permaculture, they will be able to address food insecurity and drought by growing produce and selling it at better prices for the people of Samburu.

Proposed products
- Capacity building programs for youth on permaculture models and value addition on
traditional vegetables
- Growth and sale of fruits and vegetables using permaculture models
Progress
Currently in the prototyping stage of a model permaculture farm, with land already acquired.

 

2. Samburu Agrinutrition Youth
The team seeks to improve nutrition and food security in Samburu using climate-resilient agriculture in growing sweet potatoes, sorghum, millet, and peanuts.

Proposed products and activities
- Nutritional porridge grown from sweet potatoes, Sorghum, millet, and peanuts grown
from smart gardens
- Smart gardening services for prospecting farmers in Samburu
Progress
Land for farming(1⁄8 of an acre) has been acquired, and they are currently prototyping a
nutritional porridge supplement. Vines have been planted.

 

3. Beneficial Agricultural association
The team aims to mitigate the effects of drought on food security using food preservation methods and eco-friendly bee-keeping methods using concrete bee hives.

Products
- Preserved vegetables and fruits
- Honey and its products
- Concrete bee hives

Early stage entrepreneurs
These are climate-smart enterprises that were in operation between 6 months and two years before the commencement of the challenge. They all have received a part of their seed funding to build and present prototypes of their businesses.


1. Environmental Justice team Samburu
They are a community-based organization working to promote environmental justice and community well-being in the Samburu region. Their focus is on increasing awareness of environmental justice, implementing sustainable agricultural practices for improved food security, and preserving vital greenspaces within the community. In addition, they provide essential mental health and psychosocial support, recognizing its pivotal role in overall well-being. The company is committed to empowering special groups, including women, youth, and individuals with disabilities, ensuring their active involvement in community development. Moreover, they are actively involved in combating HIV/AIDS through community-led initiatives, acknowledging the significance of collective efforts in addressing health challenges. Through these interconnected initiatives, their vision is to cultivate a resilient and thriving Samburu community, where environmental sustainability, social empowerment, and health are seamlessly interwoven for enduring positive impact.


Proposed Products
- They are looking to implement a hydroponic farm to grow vegetables
- Sale of tree seedlings

Progress
Prototyping phase. They have bought hydroponic farm equipment

 

2. Dove of Hope
Dove of Hope, situated in Samburu East Wamba, catalyzes change, specifically targeting the Moran community. Established to instill hope and inspiration, the initiative aims to reduce cattle rustling and banditry prevalent in the region, often linked to cultural practices and climate change. By recognizing the Moran as pivotal contributors to community production, Dove of Hope seeks to address the root causes of these challenges. Through this focused approach, the initiative aspires to create a positive impact, fostering stability and security in the community, while uplifting the Moran and inspiring a transformative shift in Samburu East Wamba.


Products

- Creating feedlot using acacia seeds
- Training and mentoring morans on livestock keeping
- Market for the sale of livestock


Progress
Prototyping on training models for morans to produce feedlots and sell livestock

 

The Samburu Youth Climate Action Project, led by Zuhara Impact Organization, aims to improve opportunities for entrepreneurship and climate change mitigation and socio-labor of youths in vulnerable communities in Samburu, Kenya. It offers a solution to youth unemployment and promotes youth participation,  leadership and empowerment with a focus on environmental sustainability through social innovation and social entrepreneurship, enabling young people to identify social and environmental challenges in their communities and create business solutions to address them, marketing models to help their businesses grow/expand/ improve their operational efficiency.

YPARD Kenya supports the project by offering custom made mentorship to support youth owned agri enterprises develop climate smart Agricultural practices that are aligned for enterprise development in a sustainable and eco friendly way.

The program had several online sessions, and a physical workshop in the Samburu County of Kenya. Below is a summary of the in person workshop that was part of the program. The workshop had two sessions: the conference and the field visits, which were both co-facilitated by Gloria Ivy and Austine Dan.


The Conference

The conference mentorship session on climate smart agricultural practices was conducted at Limon Ranch in Mararal town in Samburu County. The conference mentorship session began with a brief introduction on the importance of adopting climate smart agricultural practices in the face of changing weather patterns and increasing environmental challenges. Austin Dan emphasized the need for sustainable farming techniques that promote soil health, water conservation, and biodiversity.

 

Throughout the session, Austin shared practical tips and best practices for implementing climate smart agricultural practices. He explained techniques such as crop rotation, intercropping, and cover cropping to improve soil fertility and reduce the use of chemical fertilizers. He also discussed the benefits of using agroforestry, which combines tree planting with crop cultivation to enhance biodiversity and improve resilience to climate change. Austin explained how good water practices can help the mentees efficiently manage water resources and reduce their dependence on irrigation. We had an interactive session on the local trees to be intercropped with other crops and their benefits and also on the local integrated pest management methods. 

 

The conference mentorship session concluded with a question and answer session, where mentors had the opportunity to ask about specific challenges they were facing in their own farms and receive personalized guidance on how to implement climate smart agricultural practices. Overall, the mentorship session was successful in providing valuable training and guidance on climate smart agricultural practices to the mentee and other farmers in the community. Participants left the session feeling inspired and motivated to adopt sustainable farming techniques that can help mitigate the impacts of climate change on agriculture.

 

The Field Visits




The team visited three different groups:

Agri Nutrition group

Their demo site was started in December 2023, the planted crops is kales, capsicum, spinach. The main objective for the group is to solve the issue of malnutrition through providing the community with nutritious porridge. The group got a challenge in getting land and secondly water for irrigation has been a problem. During the field visit the following recommendation were given to the group; we realized that they have to walk for a distance of almost 4km to enable them get water. We however advised them to consider adopting CSA techniques to enable easily maneuver through this major challenge. We advised that they consider doing double digging of their nursery beds as an auxiliary measure to help conserve and retain as much moisture as possible within the beds. This also sustains the growth and germination of the young seedlings for a relatively longer period even in absence of reliable rainfall. Double-dug nurseries or seedbeds is a proven CSA technique in areas where there’s rainfall deficiency. We outlined a practical procedure on how this can be successfully done , Move from watering 4 times to 3 times to allow the sweet potatoes to properly develop roots and diversify crops that provide a balance nutrition such as sorghum, amaranths and soya.

Environmental Justice

The group focus on hydroponic farming and tree nursery. They focus on community sensitization through tree planting, community cleaning. Their main objectives are to ensure constant supply of nutritious vegetable and also train the community on modern farming methods

The conservation agriculture group

This group have just set their demo site but they are focused in producing vegetables and solar dry them to be consumed out of season. They were advised how to establish their nursery in ways to maintain soil moisture. More mentoring to be done in regard to preservation.

La nueva Coalición Latinoamericana de Juventudes por el Desarrollo Rural durante el encuentro realizado en Cali, Colombia The new Latin American Coalition of Youth for Rural Development during the meeting in Cali, Colombia

(English version below)

Palmira-Valle del Cauca, Colombia - 26 de febrero de 2024

En un acto de unidad y compromiso, representantes de diversas organizaciones juveniles rurales de América Latina y el Caribe se congregaron en Palmira-Valle del Cauca, Colombia, del 15 al 16 de noviembre de 2023, bajo el marco del "Encuentro Latinoamericano de Jóvenes por el Desarrollo Rural". Este encuentro, marcado por la pasión y la determinación, ha dado voz a las juventudes rurales, demostrando su poder colectivo y su dedicación para abordar los desafíos que enfrentan en la región y como resultado más significativo, la formación de la Coalición Latinoamericana de Juventudes por el Desarrollo Rural.

El encuentro fue organizado por la Red de Jóvenes Profesionales por el Desarrollo Agrícola (YPARD por sus siglas en inglés), la Cooperación Alemana para el Desarrollo (GIZ), la Agencia Italiana de Cooperación para el Desarrollo (AICS), la Alianza Bioversity and CIAT, la Corporación Colombiana de Investigación Agropecuaria - AGROSAVIA, International Land Coalition (ILC-LAC), Relaser, la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Alimentación y la Agricultura (FAO), el Instituto Interamericano de Cooperación para la Agricultura (IICA), la delegación de la Unión Europea en Colombia y la Fundación Apoyar. Este tenía como objetivo fortalecer las capacidades de la juventud en asuntos estratégicos, incluyendo la incidencia, agroecología, transición verde, acceso a tierra, extensión rural, innovación y emprendimiento, además, facilitar espacios de integración.

La coalición está formada por 35 asociaciones, cooperativas, grupos y movimientos de distintos países de Latinoamérica y el Caribe, quienes conscientes de la urgencia de generar soluciones conjuntas, presentan el Manifiesto por un "Futuro Sostenible", reflejo de su compromiso con la construcción de un mundo justo y equitativo para todas las personas, en especial para aquellas que habitan en las zonas rurales.

Desafíos y Propuestas

Actualmente, los y las jóvenes han usado este documento para plasmar su realidad, las necesidades que existen en sus territorios y los esfuerzos que están dispuestos a hacer para que estos temas de gran importancia avancen. Entre ejes se encuentran:

Adaptación y Crisis Climática: Reconociendo su vulnerabilidad frente a la crisis climática, las juventudes rurales abogan por una inversión seria y urgente en sistemas agroalimentarios sostenibles, promoviendo enfoques innovadores y agroecológicos. Exigen la aplicación de marcos internacionales de derechos humanos y la implementación de acciones legales contra la contaminación ambiental.

Emprendimiento y Empleabilidad: Destacando la importancia del empleo digno y el emprendimiento para la autonomía económica, demandan políticas públicas claras y suficientes que fomenten la creación de emprendimientos juveniles sostenibles en las zonas rurales.

Ciencia, Innovación y Transformación Digital: Conscientes de la brecha tecnológica existente, proponen mejorar los sistemas de comunicación rural y promover la conservación de medios tradicionales. Exigen programas adecuados para la transferencia de tecnología y la co-creación de soluciones con las juventudes rurales.

Jóvenes en Espacios de Toma de Decisiones: Reclamando su derecho a la participación política, exigen el reconocimiento de las juventudes como sujetos de derecho y fortalecen el liderazgo a través de programas de intercambio y mentorías.

Acceso y Gobernanza de la Tierra y el Agua: Luchando por el reconocimiento y efectividad de sus derechos sobre la tierra, demandan la construcción participativa de programas para el fortalecimiento de capacidades en habilidades de incidencia.

Temas Transversales: Promueven la transversalización del enfoque de género en todas las iniciativas y actividades. Además, enfatizan la importancia del autocuidado, la conservación del medio ambiente y la transmisión de conocimientos ancestrales.

Como parte del plan de trabajo se han establecido diversos compromisos, de igual forma se trabaja en grupos especiales para avanzar las metas establecidas, de la mano de las organizaciones que organizaron el evento.

En un acto de solidaridad y cooperación, las organizaciones parte, firmaron y ratificaron el Manifiesto, comprometiéndose a dar vida a la coalición para el desarrollo rural en América Latina y el Caribe, de forma que permita la creación de espacios para promover el diálogo entre generaciones y actores clave, apoyar proyectos regionales y ser un referente para el diseño de políticas públicas inclusivas.

 

 


 

English Version

Palmira-Valle del Cauca, Colombia - February 26, 2024

In an act of unity and commitment, representatives of various rural youth organizations from Latin America and the Caribbean gathered in Palmira-Valle del Cauca, Colombia, on November 15-16, 2023, under the framework of the "Latin American Meeting of Youth for Rural Development". This meeting, marked by passion and determination, has given voice to rural youth, demonstrating their collective power and dedication to address the challenges they face in the region and as the most significant result, the formation of the Latin American Coalition of Youth for Rural Development.

The meeting was organized by the Young Professionals for Agricultural Development Network (YPARD), the German Development Cooperation (GIZ), the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), the Bioversity and CIAT Alliance, the Colombian Agricultural Research Corporation (AGROSAVIA), the International Land Coalition (ILC-LAC), Relaser, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), the delegation of the European Union (EU), the Colombian Agricultural Research Corporation (CIAT) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), International Land Coalition (ILC-LAC), Relaser, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), the European Union Delegation in Colombia and Fundación Apoyar. The objective of the program was to strengthen the capacities of youth in strategic issues, including advocacy, agroecology, green transition, access to land, rural extension, innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as to facilitate spaces for integration.

The coalition is made up of 35 associations, cooperatives, groups and movements from different countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, who, aware of the urgency of generating joint solutions, present the Manifesto for a "Sustainable Future", a reflection of their commitment to building a just and equitable world for all people, especially those living in rural areas.

Challenges and Proposals

Currently, young people have used this document to express their reality, the needs that exist in their territories and the efforts they are willing to make to advance these important issues. Among the axes are:

Adaptation and Climate Crisis: Recognizing their vulnerability to the climate crisis, rural youth advocate for serious and urgent investment in sustainable agri-food systems, promoting innovative and agroecological approaches. They demand the application of international human rights frameworks and the implementation of legal actions against environmental pollution.

Entrepreneurship and Employability: Emphasizing the importance of decent employment and entrepreneurship for economic autonomy, they demand clear and sufficient public policies that encourage the creation of sustainable youth entrepreneurship in rural areas.

Science, Innovation and Digital Transformation: Aware of the existing technological gap, they propose to improve rural communication systems and promote the conservation of traditional media. They demand adequate programs for technology transfer and the co-creation of solutions with rural youth.

Youth in Decision-Making Spaces: Claiming their right to political participation, they demand the recognition of youth as subjects of rights and strengthen leadership through exchange and mentoring programs.

Access and Governance of Land and Water: Struggling for the recognition and effectiveness of their land rights, they demand the participatory construction of programs for capacity building in advocacy skills.

Transversal Themes: Promote gender mainstreaming in all initiatives and activities. They also emphasize the importance of self-care, environmental conservation and the transmission of ancestral knowledge.

As part of the work plan, several commitments have been established, as well as working in special groups to advance the established goals, together with the organizations that organized the event.

In an act of solidarity and cooperation, the member organizations signed and ratified the Manifesto, pledging to give life to the coalition for rural development in Latin America and the Caribbean, so as to create spaces to promote dialogue between generations and key actors, support regional projects and be a reference for the design of inclusive public policies.

 

Below you will find a round-up of internships, job vacancies, and open calls for the month.

 

Generation Connect Young Leadership Programme

Generation Connect Young Leadership Programme (GCYLP) is an exciting programme to engage, empower, and inspire young digital leaders and changemakers. GCYLP aims to support young visionaries from around the world who propose creative, far-reaching, innovative, and feasible community-driven projects aimed at creating a more inclusive and empowered digital future.

Location: Virtual

Deadline: 23 March 2024

More details here


 

Communication Manager for Research Projects- FiBL

The Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL is one of the world's leading research institutions in the field of organic agriculture and employs around 300 people in Switzerland. FiBL's strengths are interdisciplinary research, joint innovations with farmers and the food industry as well as rapid knowledge transfer. FiBL Switzerland's expertise is also in demand beyond the country's borders. It is therefore involved in numerous international projects, research, extension and training, as well as development cooperation.

FiBL is looking for a Communications Manager for the Department of Extension, Training & Communication to start at June 2024.

Location: Remote possible

Deadline: 12 April, 2024

More details here 


 

Youth4cooperation: the future of cooperation program 

Are you an organization working with youth in the pan-european scope? Are you interested in the future of regional policy and cooperation? Then this is your chance to consult young people and make their voice heard on the future of cooperation in Europe.

The three selected organizations will get EUR 10.000 each to use digital tools like social media, surveys and online workshops to conduct consultations towards young people, based on a set of questions elaborated by DG REGIO. The results of consultations will feed the next Commission’s proposal.

Deadline: 3 April, 2024

More details here



Action for Climate Empowerment Hub Youth Event

The ACE Hub Youth Event will be organized in-person from 5 - 7 June 2024 (TBC, please note the dates are tentative and subject to change) in Bonn, Germany, in English and in collaboration with multiple partners. Participants will include 25 international youth and 25 youth from NRW.

This year’s event will focus on community-based climate advocacy, action and initiatives at the local and subnational level. The event will take place over a period of 3 days, comprised of modules centered around skills development. Some aspects of a hackathon methodology such as interactive training sessions led by experts which foster leadership and encourage group collaboration will be incorporated into the modules. Participants may also have the opportunity to observe local climate action at the city level through an off-campus excursion.

Location: Bonn, Germany

Deadline: 31 March, 2024

More details here 

 



Ye! Youth Ecopreneur Program

If you're at the helm of a green business, particularly in land restoration, and have a deep passion for sustainable land management and/or green business, our tailor-made Ye! Youth Ecopreneur Programme awaits you. 

Ye! Youth Ecopreneur Programme (YECO) 2024 is a transformative journey hosted by the International Trade Centre (ITC), Youth and Trade Programme in partnership with the G20 Global Land Initiative. YECO 2024 is designed for visionary young entrepreneurs who are committed to pioneering sustainable solutions, for our planet.

Deadline: 22 March, 2024

More details here 

 


 

The Iris Project

The Iris Project grants to three winners and six runners-up each year with locally delivered capacity-building programmes and peer-to-peer mentoring facilitated by our Advisory Panel.

Nature restoration takes a variety of forms – from traditional land stewardship to innovative technological solutions. As such, The Iris Prize rewards new ideas and established projects, hoping to overcome the circumstantial barriers that too often prevent young people from being able to advocate for nature-related change.

Deadline: 30 April, 2024

More details here 

 


 

FAO Internship- Asia Pacific

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) leads international efforts to defeat hunger and to achieve food security for all and make sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. With over 195 Members, FAO works in over 130 countries worldwide. We believe that everyone can play a part in ending hunger. 

The Internship Programme aims to attract talented young women and men who are strongly motivated to share their new perspectives, innovative ideas, and latest academic experience in FAO’s domains. The Programme provides a learning opportunity to the participants to supplement their academic knowledge with a practical work assignment in a field related to the work of FAO.

Through the FAO internship experience, interns will contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and FAO's Strategic Framework to support the 2030 Agenda through the transformation to MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agri-food systems for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind.

Deadline: 25 August, 2024

More details here 

 



Mentors and Expert Evaluators

The World Food Forum WFF Innovation Lab, in collaboration with multiple partners and stakeholders, is currently implementing the fourth iteration of the Transformative Research Challenge (TRC). The TRC seeks to inspire youth-led research and innovation in sustainable development, to end hunger and transform our agrifood systems.

The Overall TRC winner will be announced during the WFF flagship event, taking place from 14th - 18th October 2024, at FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy. In addition, winners will be selected for each Special Prize and awarded means to realize their Research Proposals in practice.

The WFF Innovation lab invites experts from all over the world to express interest in supporting these emerging researchers and innovators as expert Evaluators and Mentors for the shortlisted TRC teams.

Location: Online

Deadline: 31 March, 2024

More details here 

 

 

 

 

The 28th Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was held from 30th November-12th December 2023 in Dubai. YPARD was one of an increasing number of youth-led organizations that sent a delegation of 8 young professionals to COP28 with the aim of representing youth voices and demands at the conference. 

 

At COP28, YPARD was the co-lead of the Youth co-host of the Food Systems Pavilion at the conference. The Youth Co-host for the Food Systems Pavilion is a collective endeavor of organizations dedicated to addressing the global food system crisis, promoting sustainable and equitable solutions. The organizations that were part of the Youth co-host led events at COP28 that demanded bold political climate commitments, catalyzing action and raising awareness about the urgent need for food systems transformation. You can read more about the Youth co-host here

 

YPARD members brought up key demands through the youth NGO constituency YOUNGO and the Global Youth Statement, but also through twelve different events throughout the two weeks of the negotiations. YPARD members consistently advocated for the importance of issues key to young professionals in agrifood systems, including generational renewal, a just transition, a food systems approach, agroecology, and the inclusion of agrifood systems issues in both climate mitigation and adaptation approaches. 

 

Besides this, YPARD was also a partner on the Food4Climate Pavilion, and also participated in several side events as speakers, moderators, and co-hosts. Below is a recap of all these events. 

 


 

1st December 2023

The session ‘The Great Food Debate: let them talk’ was organized by Proveg International and International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), and co-moderated by YPARD. It stressed that collaboration is essential to balance tradeoffs in increasing food production, with potential drawbacks like excessive land use and soil degradation. Panelists discussed prioritizing farmers, with a focus  on supporting their transition to sustainable and profitable climate-adaptive farming systems.

We also heard discussions on creating sustainable food systems that address social justice concerns, including the impact on vulnerable consumers worldwide. Diverse global contexts require tailored approaches to promoting nutritious and healthy diets. Solutions should be user-centric from the outset, acknowledging differences between the Global North and South, as well as variations among rich and poor populations. 

The Great Food Debate: let them talk- Link to recording

The COP28 Food Systems Call to Action event also took place on this day. This event was organized by the Youth co-host of the Food Systems Pavilion 



3rd December 2023

The first session, titled 'Decent Livelihoods for Youth in Food and Agriculture', saw interventions from Joshua Amponsem (Director Youth Climate Justice Fund, Founder, Green Africa Youth Organization (GAYO)), Genna Tesdall, (Director, YPARD), Brenda Success Mwale (Chief Operations Officer, Green Girls Platform), and Kwame Ofori (Ako Foundation).

Joshua talked about how African food systems are shaped by a plurality of small-scale actors, of which young people are a crucial part. He sees this as part of the cultural tradition of Africa, which is based heavily on community. We heard from Genna about how YPARD is capacitating young professionals globally through education, access to resources, and professional networks. Brenda emphasized on the need to transform the perception of 'farmers' so that young professionals can view the field of agriculture and food systems as engaging and professionally fulfilling.

 

The second YPARD session of the day was on 'Building climate and nutrition resilient societies through youth led action'. We heard from Nana YOHARI (Youth Coordinator, Democratic Republic of Congo) on how malnutrition is a pressing issue in her region and in many parts of the world. Heitor Dellasta (YPARD Brazil representative) spoke about how local communities can help in ecological conservation, sustainability, and solution building through innovative agricultural practices. Andreas Alfieri (Director INTPA/F, EU Commission) emphasized the role of society and young people in quicker, effective climate transformation. The clear link between nutrition and climate change was stressed on by Paul Garaycochea (Head of Directorate Sustainable Supply Chains, BMZ).

 

Decent Livelihoods for Youth in Food and Agriculture- Link to recording

 

Building climate and nutrition resilient societies through youth led action- Link to recording

 

4th December 2023

The first session of the day was titled 'Nurturing equitable food systems through innovations for farmers and youth'. In the session, several case studies about digital innovation, digital literacy, youth engagement projects and disruptive policies were presented. Speakers included Lini Wollenberg (University of Vermont), Ana Carolina Zimmermann (Farmer and Policy & Advocacy Gymnasimum Participant, WFO), Jean Sebastian Pedraza Paez (Chair, Steering Committee, YPARD), and Alexis Balimann (Switzerland Climate Youth Delegate). The moderator for the session was Sophie Healy-Thow, Founder of Act4Food.

The session concluded with interventions about how a human centric design approach is needed in food systems even as technology evolves, why co-creation with and by youth is key in policy making, and how multisectoral efforts are needed to create nurturing food systems.

The next session held with EmpoderaClima, YPARD Brazil, Sitawi Finance for Good, and Engajamundo was 'Youth and Gender in Climate Finance: How to make funding more intersectional and intergenerational'.

The speakers, Isabelle Flávia Dias (Volunteer, Engajamundo) and Carmen Roberta Taboad (Research Director, EmpoderaClima), emphasized that not enough climate finance goes to women, girls, and youth. This must change in order to create action on climate change. Partnerships were identified as key to getting finance to where it is needed, especially as LAC experiences extractive relationships with the global community. Thus, external investments from international organizations and industrialized nations, as well as transparency and genuine accountability is crucial.



Nurturing equitable food systems through innovations for farmers and youth-
Link to recording



5th December 2023

On World Soil Day (5th December), YPARD had the pleasure of taking part in an engaging discussion on soil health action for nature, climate, and people organized by Coalition of Action 4 Soil Health (CA4SH) at the #cop28 conference.
The discussion had two panels, and included several distinguished speakers who spoke on the pivotal role of soil health in reshaping agricultural practices, ensuring food security, and combating climate change and biodiversity loss.

The session was moderated by Leigh Winowiecki (Soil and Land Health Research Lead, World Agroforestry), with opening remarks from Eliane Ubalijoro (CEO, CIFOR-ICRAF).

Elizabeth Nsimbanda (President, Eastern Africa farmers federation, EAFF), Genna Tesdall (Director, YPARD), Roland van der Vorst (Head of Innovation Rabobank & CEO Rabo Carbon Bank), and Paul Luu (Executive Secretariat, 4p1000 Initiative) were part of the first panel.

The second panel included Erica Johnson (Sustainability Affairs Officer, Agreena), Nikita Eriksen-Hamel (Government of Canada), Martina Fleckenstein (Global Policy Director, Food, WWF), and Naoufal Mahdar (Vice President, Climate Action and Decarbonization, OCP Group). The closing remarks were delivered by Estherine Fotabong (Director of Agriculture, Food Security and Environmental Sustainability, AUDA-NEPAD).

The panellists talked about how to include soil health considerations in policies, expand actionable research on social health practices, increase healthy soil practices with farmers, and increase financial investments in soil health.

 

Link to recording.

 

6th December 2023

The first session of the day titled 'Role of youth in capacity building and policy making for climate action in the Global South' was organized by CGIAR. The session discussed the role that universities and research institutes play in capacity building processes, how intersectional youth focus is required in research in order to create evidence-based climate mitigation processes, and if youth are adequately involved in impact pathways.

Speakers included Harry Clark (Global Research Alliance GRA), Charles Spillane (Director, Ryan Institute, University of Galway) Jean Sebastian Pedraza Paez (Chair, Steering Committee, YPARD), Raha Hakimdavar (Senior Advisor, Georgetown University in Qatar), Joaquin J. Lozano A. (Regional Director, LAC, CGIAR), and participants of the CLIFF-GRADs program by GRA.

'Evidence Generation to Inform Policy and Practice for Scaling Soil Health for Resilient Food Systems' was the second session of the day. The objective of this session was to showcase evidence and examples of the impacts of enhancing soil health on food nutrition and climate change mitigation.

The session speakers included Joy Youwakim (Agronomy Scientist, Biome Makers), Laura Cramer (Thematic Lead, Climate-Smart Agriculture Policies and Priorities, AICCRA), Tom Williams (Director, Food and Agriculture, WBCSD – World Business Council for Sustainable Development), 'Wole Fatunbi (Lead Specialist: Innovation Systems and Partnerships, Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa - FARA), Glindys Virginia Luciano (Network Engagement Coordinator, YPARD), Aisha Hassan (Co-founder, Cycle to Farms), Dhrupad Choudhury (Indigenous Partnership for Agrobiodiversity and Food Sovereignty). The session was moderated by Leigh Winowiecki, and closing remarks were delivered by Satya S. Tripathi (Secretary General, Global Alliance for a Sustainable Planet).

The final session on the 6th  was on 'Connection to Territories: Youth and Land Rights'. We heard about why land tenure is important to youth for long term planning and climate sensitive management, how access to land and land degradation makes it difficult to make farming profitable, and that youth and young women are especially affected.

Panellists for this session included RICHARD KACHUNGU (BKMC Agriyouth Champion), Elizabeth Sariah (Media Journalist, and Negotiator from Niue), Juan Carlos Mendoza (ECG Director, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)), Simon O'Connell (CEO, SNV), H.E Hailemariam Dessalegn (Chair, AGRA Board of Directors), Jennifer Crall (Global Partnerships - Growers and Youth Engagement, Bayer), and Laureen Ongessa (International Land Coalition (ILC)). The moderator was Dainalyn Swaby (World Farmer's Organization), and the session was organized by the Youth co-host.

 

 

Role of youth in capacity building and policy making for climate action in the Global South- Link to recording

 

Connection to Territories: Youth and Land Rights- Link to recording

 

8th December 2023

YPARD held the session titled 'Culture, Values, and Spiritual Perspectives: Mobilising Action Towards a Just Food System Transition' in collaboration with Baha'i International Community, BUDDHIST TZU CHI GENERAL HOSPITAL, and World Vision. The panellists engaged in discussions that illuminate how the values and missions of their respective organizations synergize to mobilize collective action in pursuit of an equitable transition and transformation of our food systems.

Speakers included Ingrid Jacobsen (Brot Für Die Welt), Jenice Achieng (YPARD Kenya Representative), Jialuen Goh (BUDDHIST TZU CHI GENERAL HOSPITAL), Mishelle Mitchell (World Vision), and Taissa (Indeginous Youth activist). The session was moderated by Gabriela Rawhani (Baha'i International Community), and organzied by YPARD on behalf of the Youth co-host.

 

Culture, Values, and Spiritual Perspectives: Mobilising Action Towards a Just Food System Transition- Link to recording

 

10th December 2023


On COP28’s Food, Agriculture and Water Day, the FAST Partnership was officially launched in the Presidency Roundtable, Al Saih room at Expo City Dubai. This partnership is the culmination of the FAST Initiative which was launched at COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. The Presidency of COP27 tasked the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to operationalize the FAST Initiative into the FAST Partnership and host the Task Force acting as a Secretariat. 

The goal of the FAST Partnership is to improve the quality and quantity of climate finance to agrifood systems, and it will operate through three pillars: Access to finance, Knowledge and capacity, and Policy support and dialogue, with a view to foster sustainable agricultural transformation.The inception meeting held at COP28 saw interventions from Ministers and high-level representatives of Countries and Organizations supporting the work of the FAST Partnership. Genna Tesdall delivered her intervention on youth inclusion in agriculture and food systems transformation on behalf of YPARD. During her intervention, Genna emphasized the importance of involving youth in partnerships like FAST. She stated that 16% of the global population is made up of youth, even by conservative definitions of the term, and that the majority of youth in developing countries are already involved in agriculture. She concluded by affirming youth support in intergenerational cooperation and action. 

 

On this day, YPARD also participated in another side event organized by the International Forestry Students'​ Association (IFSA). The session was titled 'Climate Trailblazers: Harnessing the Power of Youth-led Initiatives on Sustainable Land Management and Climate Action' and provided a platform for dynamic youth organizations to present and discuss their projects. Speakers shared initiatives that address the urgent challenges of climate change through sustainable land management and climate action.

 

Isabelle Claire Dela Paz (International Forestry Students'​ Association (IFSA)), Alexa Beaucamp (School Forest Project), Thomas Westhoff (IAAS (International Association of Students in Agricultural and Related Sciences)), Oluwaseun Adekugbe (Youth4Nature), Heitor Dellasta (Global Youth Biodiversity Network), and Kofi Kisiedu Acquaye (YPARD Africa Coordinator) spoke at the session.

 

 

11 December 2023

Our last speaking engagement at COP28 was held on 11th December, titled 'Rooted Resilience: Youth-led Small Table Talks on Global Agroforestry Innovations'. This session aimed to provide a platform for young agroforestry practitioners to share their innovative approaches and experiences, and encourage participants to apply insights gained from the event in their own contexts, promoting the adoption of agroforestry practices for climate resilience.

The panellists for the session included Xiaoshang Deng (YPARD China member), Thomas Westhoff (IAAS (International Association of Students in Agricultural and Related Sciences)), Matthew Azure Awini (Care About Climate) and International Forestry Students'​ Association (IFSA) members Isabelle Claire Dela Paz, Violet Low-Beinart, Anna Stemberger.

 

Rooted Resilience: Youth-led Small Table Talks on Global Agroforestry Innovations- Link to recording

 

Erick Nunda, YPARD DRC being awarded for his community solution ideas at the Africa Agriscience Agribuisness Week (AASW)


In pursuit of sustainable development while combating the global climate crisis, knowledge exchange and robust networks are indispensable strategies to link impactful projects with climate finance. Too often, local projects are under funded, and limited by the financial means to scale. 

Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD) Community Solutions Projects are evidence of projects ripe for scaling with quality finance. This is where partnerships such as the FAST Initiative can significantly move the needle. Our Country Chapters actively engage with local communities, collaborating on projects tackling specific challenges within food systems. Working in concert with diverse stakeholders, young professionals provide access to knowledge and facilitate capacity building on a range of sustainable food systems practices. Through these collaborative efforts, YPARD aims to empower communities, fostering resilience and promoting the adoption of climate change mitigation, adaptation and socially responsible approaches to agriculture and food production.

Below are a few examples of YPARD Community Solutions Projects.

 

YPARD Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Community Solutions Project

Tilapia Fish Production in a Floating Cage

Agriculture in Africa has the potential to significantly improve livelihoods and boost the economy, particularly through job creation for the continent's young population. Despite this potential, there is currently a low level of youth involvement in agriculture, as many are yet to recognize the profitable opportunities it offers for sustainable livelihoods. The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) conducted a workshop focusing on strengthening youth initiatives for technology deployment in agri-entrepreneurship. 

YPARD DRC capitalized on the Fish Value Chain Opportunity, which was an outcome of FARA’s Agri-youth engagement workshop, and initiated fish production in ponds in the Walungu territory. The Eastern and Southeastern parts of the DRC are strategic regions for fish farming, presenting new opportunities for adopting technologies in intensive fish farming. The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) aims to improve Tilapia fish production in Lake Kivu through the Tilapia Cage Pilot Project (PPTC-SK), promoting access to fingerlings, locally produced fish feeds, and enhancing the value chain. YPARD DRC is actively involved in the PPTC-SK project, which seeks to harness the entrepreneurial spirit of young people and reduce food imports by making fish products accessible in Bukavu and across the D.R. Congo.
Learn more about this project here



YPARD Eswatini Community Solution Project

Rural Grown Farms

Established in 2017 by YPARD Eswatini, Rural Grown Farms is a woman-led agribusiness enterprise focused on enhancing the livelihoods of communities in Eswatini and the region. In collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, Research Services, and in partnership with experienced youth out-growers and ESUS Farm, the project aims to digitize youth farmers through a dedicated portal. Actively engaging youth in crop cultivation for improved nutrition, the project establishes a Community Enterprise (COE) for the sale of produce. Emphasizing Climate Smart Farming with Biofortified beans, the initiative, led by YPARD Eswatini, provides entrepreneurial skills training and nutritional improvements through the manufacture and sale of bean jam. 

ESUS Farm contributes to digitalization by registering youth farmers in a portal, facilitating monitoring and market information. With a focus on women and youth, Rural Grown has already created over 15 jobs, aiming to surpass 50 opportunities in production, warehousing, packaging, and logistics. This investment not only boosts productivity and biofortified beans consumption but also addresses iron deficiency, promoting economic well-being in households. Currently operating on a hectare of land, the project plans to expand its impact further.

Learn more about this project here



YPARD Ghana Community Solution Project

Beekeeping in Agroecological Systems

To create quality jobs for women and youth, YPARD Ghana is investing in improved rural-urban links within the food system. The chapter highlights the necessity of advancing agroforestry development methodologies, especially to create rural-to-urban linkages which are culturally, socially, and environmentally appropriate. With this in mind, YPARD Ghana launched its Community Solutions Project for young beekeepers. The initiative was started in June 2023 in the Volta region of the Ho municipality with local bee species and has thus far trained 15 young entrepreneurs. This was done to support the government of Ghana's Green Agenda and to support ecotourism.

YPARD Cameroon Community Solution Projects

Seed for Agriculture

Seed for Agriculture project is a nursery which provides certified seedlings, but also training, to rural farmers for agroforestry practices. The project’s mission is to contribute to the production of quality seedlings and train young professionals in this strategic sector. The initiative was started by Bebel Nguepi, YPARD Cameroon Country Representative, four years ago. Mrs Edoa Celine, agroecologist, seed technologist, and YPARD Cameroon member is an expert trainer for the project.

Tree-planting with Children and Youth: Demonstrating the long-term effects of Green Regeneration

YPARD Cameroon’s tree planting project took place at Mfandena Public School in Yaoundé, Cameroon. The project was implemented with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies - IFRC, Young Volunteers for Environment Cameroon, Seed for Agriculture, and J2D-Afrique.

This initiative went beyond planting trees; the goal was to nurture a generation of environmental stewards. In collaboration with dedicated partners, YPARD Cameroon meticulously refined their approach, engaging in detailed planning, negotiations with schools, and mobilizing passionate volunteers. Their hands-on involvement extended from supplying seedlings and compost to actively participating in the tree-planting activity. 

Learn more about the above three projects here.




Building community projects stands as a powerful grassroots approach to instigate sustainable transformation, cultivate an array of environmentally friendly job opportunities, and fortify the resilience of communities. However, in order to amplify the impact of these initiatives and facilitate their expansion, the availability of financial support is paramount. The need for easy access to increased funding is a crucial factor in not only ensuring the viability and success of community projects but also in propelling them towards scalable models that can be replicated across diverse regions. By streamlining financial accessibility, we can unlock the full potential of community-driven endeavors, empowering them to address pressing issues, propel environmental stewardship, and bolster the economic and social fabric of communities.