YPARD, the Young Professionals' Platform for Agricultural Research for Development, as a core community of young professionals for young professionals in ARD, was given particular attention as mechanism through which supporting the youth from GCARD2 roadmap to implementation.
Empowering Youth capacity building for ARD
The dedicated session on empowering youth and women through capacity building (C2.2) comes naturally as the most significant expression of youth support.
The chair emphasized these following key messages meant to be realistically applicable and accountable in 2014, at GCARD3.
- Multiply the availability of high-quality opportunities for practical experience and career development of women and youth in AR4D such as internships, fellowships, mentoring and professional secondment
- Coordinate the monitoring and publication of statistics on the composition of ARD international and regional meetings, boards and leadership teams by age, gender and nationality
- Take stock of regional efforts toward curriculum reform in agri education while advocating that those reforms support ARD that is transformative and that is fully inclusive of youth and women
- Invest in the full development of YPARD and GAP as mechanisms to support the implementation of the above
Within this frame, YPARD commits to work on two specific actions. No support of the youth without youth taking their own responsibilities!
These commitments were identified as priorities during GCARD2 Youth discussions and the break-out session above mentioned C2.2. We would be accountable for these key aspects at GCARD3 in 2 years time.
We, young professionals in ARD, will integrate and initiate actions for...
Curriculum Reform in Agricultural Education!
Youth require a range of skills and competencies beyond their technical discipline, without undermining this latter.
A revised set of skills including soft skills and skills obtained from work experience is needed to address new challenges in agriculture. With increased attention to holistic and multi-disciplinary approaches to addressing challenges, there is an emphasis on communication, business skills and entrepreneurship skills.
Curriculum developers must involve young professionals who are able to reflect on their recent educational experiences to develop labour market responsive curricula for high quality relevant ARD education.
To encourage greater cross-fertilization of ideas, reform of the agricultural curriculum must be a fully inclusive process which involves a wide range of stakeholders such as industry, alumni, students, teachers, farmers, extension workers, private sector, government, NGOs and research organisations.
This can be a key to employability, economic growth, food security and agricultural development worldwide.
Action! YPARD launched plans with AGRINATURA and other universities network, during GCARD2, to notably mobilize and involve Alumni in changing universities curricula upon the directives above.
Youth input in ARD decision making bodies!
In order to ensure that ARD is attractive to and inclusive of youth, youth advisors should be welcomed on executive bodies and decision making committees of organizations in ARD.
While many agree that the declining interest of youth in agriculture is critical there are few policies and programs that address the issue.
Youth are often ignored and undervalued when developing priorities in the agricultural sector, yet it is essential that youth create their own futures in ARD.
Space must be made at the executive committee and decision making levels of ARD bodies, to enable youth input. There should be positive discrimination towards young professionals.
Only when young professionals are actively engaged in shaping the sector’s future will we be able to work towards a responsible agriculture, able to meet global needs without depleting its resources.
Action! Through YPARD lobbying, Youth are represented in FORAGRO executive committee, EFARD Steering Committee and management team, and were involved as observer in the Organizing Committee of GCARD2. The same way, and among other actions, YPARD will carry on supporting youth presence on policy level!
It may still sound too vague to some of you! Wait and see the number of actions generated from this!
Better: get yourself involved for the Youth to take their own stake for youth empowerment!
“There won’t be action for the youth without youth?” Well, let’s walk the talk!”.
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Oliver Oliveros and Alessandra Giuliani, two of YPARD founding members was present at GCARD2 as Youth discussions facilitators. Read their testimonial on the way went through from YPARD creation to GCARD1 until now, and his positive feedback on the huge improvement on Youth involvement in ARD high level discussions: “Youth in ARD, we are getting there...” by Oliver Oliveros and “From getting a Youth voice to committing to action in ARD Strategic arena” by Alessandra Giuliani.
More blog post by Young Professionals on GCARD Blog!