The Social Reporters of the GCARD event should all feel accomplished and proud after having the honor of experiencing a private meeting with the Uruguayan President, the Honorable, Jose Mujica. And proud we are!
As a young professional in agriculture from a small developing country, I was moved by the gesture extend by his Excellency to interact with us, young people, from all around the world. Such an experience is highly motivating to us, all of whom in a multitude of ways are seeking careers, livelihoods and development in agriculture.
The GCARD2 Social Reporters, having just received a certificate for intensive training in the field, are full of opinion and expertise. Here is an insight into some of the thoughts of these young people. We asked ourselves:
- What you lesson did you learn about Uruguayn Agriculture?
- What would you say to the President if you had a chance?
Idowu Ejere from Nigeria had this to say: The emphasis on technology transfer and access to markets for smallholder farmer was what I learned from our interaction with his Excellency. If I had a chance I’d like to commend the president for encouraging family farms.
But he needs to hurry to come up with a concrete incentive or policy that will encourage youth involvement in farm-based agriculture and agri-businesses. Supporting family farms on the condition that youth remain within Uruguay rather than migrating is not much guarantee that they will do so.
Dinesh Panday from Nepal commented: From the press conference, when the question was raised on what are the actions to attract youth in
agriculture in Uruguay, there was a familiar response from the president to the youth.
His Excellency indicated that currently there aren’t any initiatives under implementation to attract more youth in agriculture as there is a problem of youth migrating to urban areas in Uruguay. It is a similar case with my country, Nepal, where youth consider agriculture as a ‘poorman/dirtyman’ job.
Youth, especially men, often go abroad for study or job purposes, and women and children along with aged people remain amongst rural areas and depend upon agriculture and farming. Such a situation is possibly the major reason to emphasize traditional and subsistence farming rather than the commercial and competitive dimension in Nepal.
All around the world, government should not forget that youth are the messengers of change and they can lead nations very effectively, so they should be given prime consideration in any development planning and implementation activities regarding agriculture.
Keron Bascombe, representing Trinidad and Tobago, explains: Immediately I was – and I continue to be – highly impressed by the close working relationship that clearly exists between all stakeholders within the Uruguayn Agricultural Sector.
From our interactions at the GCARD2 we have learned that farmers/producers and agricultural researchers are directly responsible for the creation of high quality agricultural products that are exported from Uruguay.
For me this something that my region of the world (the Caribbean) can definitely learn from.
If I have a chance to speak with his Excellency I would thank him simply for extending his hand and insisting that he meets with we young people from different backgrounds. I am humbled and filled with admiration by his actions.
Success becomes us!
To listen in, to the discussions at the Meeting, visit our Podomatic Account for brief audio set of the event.
Blogpost by Keron Bascombe, Idowu Ejere and Dinesh Panday, some of the GCARD2 social reporters.