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Introducing the school farm program

Young Professionals for Agricultural Development, YPARD, together with Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is now set to develop a new strategic plan that focuses on the development of human capital particularly – the youth. 

It aims to design an efficient mechanism of intervention to solve some common challenges within the agricultural sector in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

This alternative plan will address challenges such as lack of coordination, lack of skills, inadequate information, and lack of resources, which makes it difficult for people in this region to access and make efficient use of resources that are needed to sustain themselves and improve their welfare. 

Finding a proposal for action is a complex task to achieve. Therefore, approaching the option of investing in human capital through educational programs (with a focus on youth in the agricultural sector) would be an efficient and optimistic alternative. In particular, education provides the capacity to learn, there is a body of evidence, which asserts that school policies have an enabling environment, which aims to provide dynamic tools to coordinate tangible responses to achieving this and making it a reality.

According to FAO, education is an ideal tool of intervention to coordinate responses to tackle complex factors in an entity. It offers adequate information and a variety of opportunities that could involve multiple sectors and partners. The approach is based on providing necessary and appropriate knowledge that aims to organize people’s awareness, which can help enhance the living conditions in habitat and ensure its sustainability.

Therefore, from this point of view, the design of this educative and interactive platform will be based on a curricular plan, which aims to provide the required theoretical and practical perspective. It will also use systematic methods to engage youth (ages 10 years – 24 years) in agricultural activities, to adopt skills for transforming current production systems towards more sustainable practice. 

The plan strategically will operate on agroecosystem approach, by promoting dynamic activities based on local knowledge, to enable and drive innovation. It will also empower different stakeholders to shape the modern food system and enhance food security while ensuring healthy diets for all. 

Through this initiative, YPARD and FAO will be able to implement a mutually reinforcing synergy to shape a well-designed intervention on agriculture and education. The initiative will help to increase focus and investment in youth by creating a favourable environment in different agro-ecological contexts. 

Currently, we are in the planning phase and exploring possible initiatives that can be implemented. Updates will be provided as things become clearer and opportunities to engage become available. Feel free to express your interest in contributing to the project, by reaching me at wendel.georges@fao.org for any further information and updates.

 

Photo credits: EARTH University