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Web4Knowledge Internship at YPARD: Realising the potential of ICT in Agricultural Development

When I joined the Agriculture and Forestry University for my bachelor, I found YPARD the right platform for similar minded young peers motivated towards agricultural development. My interest of merging ICT in agriculture was fuelled when I got the chance to meet Dinesh Panday, YPARD Nepal Representative, in the University Level Awareness Program which focuses on Technical Knowledge Sharing for Undergraduates and Social media in Agriculture. I was ready to commit my efforts to an agricultural betterment through knowledge, innovation and technology, therefore I chose YPARD.

Working as a Local Representative for YPARD Nepal later, I had the opportunity to get in contact with the YPARD Global Coordination Unit (GCU) and ask for a traineeship. I was very delighted to be appointed as the Web4Knowledge Intern as I had to manage and expand information services on YPARD’s website working remotely (15 hours per week) in close collaboration with YPARD Web and Communications Director, Marina Cherbonnier. With my several experiences in web designing, website search optimization and coding, together with Marina’s help, I grabbed the assigned tasks and built up my capacity quickly.

AgriYouthNepal and more

This internship not only provided me technical skills but also has made me aware of lots of opportunities in agriculture. I have learned about the scientific paper writing procedure as well as how to build a proposal. Besides, I was able to expand my global network among various young professionals both via email communications and social media, what is really motivating as I was able to grasp more about their innovative approaches for agriculture development.

Realising the potential of ICT in agricultural development for social transformation, my group was successful to initiate "AgriYouthNepal," a Nepalese youth network that spreads their idea for agriculture development. Moreover, I could meet Dr. R Seenivasan, former YPARD Asia Coordinator, during his visit to Kathmandu, Nepal. It was a pleasure to know more about him as well as about his contributions to our platform. 

Drupal CMS's discovery 

When I started my internship at YPARD, one of the first things I had to get familiar with was Drupal Content Management System (Framework), as I used to work with Wordpress CMS. Despite Drupal’s steep learning curve, I could learn basic designing so that in the end, if Wordpress used to be my passion, later Drupal became my compulsion.

A thrilling internship

My internship experience was not just about adding a new section to my resume. In fact, it made me discover a new way of life by expanding my global network, gaining self-confidence and developing a global perspective. During this traineeship, I have posted more than 250 contents related to opportunities, events, resources, videos, news and blog posts. I hope this contribution from my side had helped various young professionals in different ways around the globe. 

I really acknowledge Marina for keeping me thrilled throughout my internship thanks to her cooperation, encouragement and motivation. I am also grateful to my colleagues, senior brothers and sister within YPARD Nepal family for invaluable supports. I finally thank my colleague Madhu Ghimire and YPARD Web and Communications Officer, Amelia Ochoa, for their support and coordination. It was really a pleasure to work with you all! 

Message to Young Professionals

I am proud to be a farmer’s son. I was born and raised in a farm of a remote mid hill district of Nepal. I am very much familiar with every farming activities, this is why it hurts me every time I realize the pain that farmers feel during their work in various landscapes. Moreover, the rural exodus of young people compels aged people and women to engage in farming. Why farming is not as cool as other professions? Why young generations fail to imagine agriculture as a viable career path? 

Modern Information and Communicating Technologies (ICTs) can play an important role in addressing these problems. Engaging youth in research activities, capacity building and policy debates can secure their future and further motivate them towards agriculture. Only when young professionals are actively engaged in shaping the future of farming, is possible that sustainable food production meets the global demand.

YPARD has been serving as the best platform for young agriculture professionals to meet and discuss the common challenges. I hope this bond will be stronger by building a wider participation in research activities, youth and policy debates.