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YPARD is looking for a passionate and dedicated young professional to take up the position of YPARD representative in Niger.

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 Nigerien representative to contribute actively to a growing YPARD and help YPARD achieve its ambitious goals.

In 2013, Samuel Rigu was looking for a new challenge. Having grown up in a rural Kenyan farming family, he knew that farms in his village depended on synthetic fertilizers.

On a continent where land degradation has driven millions of people out of their villages and into cities, fertilizer is often a must for farmers. However, African farmers pay two-to-six times the average world price for fertilizers due to a heavy reliance on imports, combined with high transportation costs and a dearth of suppliers in the countryside. Rigu wanted to change that.

Admire Shayanowako is no stranger to agriculture or the problems that smallholder farmers in Africa face. The 31-year old maize researcher grew up on a small farm in Zimbabwe where his family was constantly plagued by parasitic weeds. Now based at the University of Kwazulu Natal in South Africa, he is working on biocontrol agents and maize genetic resistance against Striga, also known as “witch weed”. He was recently recognized for his innovative research as one of the winners of the 2019 Maize Youth Innovators Awards – Africa, in the category of “researcher” at an awards ceremony in Lusaka, Zambia on May 9.

These awards, an initiative of the CGIAR Research Program on Maize (MAIZE), recognize the contributions of young women and men below 35 years of age who are implementing innovations in African maize-based farming systems. This is the second year of the awards, and the first time to be held in Africa. We recently sat down with Admire to discuss his research, inspiration and plans for the future.

As part of the initiatives to encourage young people to create societal change, the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) once again organized the SEARCA Online Learning and Virtual Engagement (SOLVE) webinar on "Youth Disengagement in Agriculture: Empowering Future Leaders in Southeast Asia" on 12 August 2020 via Zoom and Facebook.

This webinar is the second instalment of the August webinar series on gender and youth in ARD. The first instalment last week highlighted youth disengagement in agriculture. It addressed challenges faced by the youth as well as how to create opportunities in gearing towards sustainable development.

Ismael Mayanja never intended to work in agriculture, but knew he wanted to make a positive impact on his country. The 23-year-old engineer was recently awarded the 2019 MAIZE Youth Innovators Award – Africa in the category of “researcher” for his work developing a bicycle-powered maize cleaning machine that reduces labor time and improves the health of school children in his native country, Uganda.

These awards, an initiative of the CGIAR Research Program on Maize (MAIZE), recognize the contributions of young women and men below 35 years of age who are implementing innovations in African maize-based farming systems. This is the second year of the awards, and the first time to be held in Africa. The award ceremony took place in Lusaka, Zambia during the annual Stress Tolerant Maize for Africa (STMA) project meeting May 7-9, 2019.

Blessings Likagwa has a passion for farming. The 29-year-old farmer from Kasungu, Malawi was recently recognized by the 2019 MAIZE Youth Innovators Awards – Africa for his work using data from drones to implement climate smart improvements on his maize farm, and inspiring other local farmers to do the same. Blessings is the first ever winner in the “farmer” category of the awards.

These awards, an initiative of the CGIAR Research Program on Maize (MAIZE), recognize the contributions of young women and men below 35 years of age who are implementing innovations in African maize-based farming systems. This is the second year of the awards, and the first time to be held in Africa. The award ceremony took place in Lusaka, Zambia during the annual Stress Tolerant Maize for Africa (STMA) project meeting May 7-9, 2019.

Hildegarde Dukunde has a mission: to make sure the DryCard, an inexpensive device developed by researchers at the University of California-Davis (UC Davis) to determine if food is dry enough to prevent the growth of mold and harmful aflatoxins, reaches as many farmers as possible. The 28-year old Rwanda native works as a sales associate in agrifood business and was recently recognized for her innovative work by the 2019 Maize Youth Innovators Awards – Africa, winning in the “change agent” category at an awards ceremony in Lusaka, Zambia on May 9.

These awards, an initiative of the CGIAR Research Program on Maize (MAIZE), recognize the contributions of young women and men below 35 years of age who are implementing innovations in African maize-based farming systems. This is the second year of the awards, and the first time to be held in Africa. In a recent interview, Hildegarde explained the motives behind her work and approach.

Lokwa Mila Giresse was concerned when he first heard of the challenges maize farmers in his native Democratic Republic of the Congo were facing due to the fall armyworm, an invasive insect pest from the Americas that has been steadily munching its way across Africa since it was first reported on the continent in 2016. The pest presents a major threat to food security in Africa since it feeds on over 80 different crop species but shows a particular preference for maize – a key staple crop in the region. Lokwa turned to technology to help farmers find a solution to the problem, developing the Mobile Agribiz App that can help farmers diagnose and monitor fall armyworm infestation in maize. He was recently recognized for his tech savvy work by the 2019 MAIZE Youth Innovators Awards – Africa, which he won in the category of “change agent”.

These awards, an initiative of the CGIAR Research Program on Maize (MAIZE), recognize the contributions of young women and men below 35 years of age who are implementing innovations in African maize-based farming systems. This is the second year of the awards, and the first time to be held in Africa. The award ceremony took place in Lusaka, Zambia during the annual Stress Tolerant Maize for Africa (STMA) project meeting May 7-9, 2019.