I’m thinking, is the discussion over? No, not yet, and I am not getting what I was expecting.
I flew to Bangkok from my home country, Nepal, to attend the GCARD3 Social Media Training and High Level Policy Dialogue on Investment in Agricultural Research for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific, organized by APAARI in collaboration with ACIAR, FAO-RAP, GFAR and IFPRI. I was expecting something in the program about investment in empowering women and youth which will make me more proud to be part of my generation. But the first day of the dialogue remained focused on the statistical data, the expected outcomes, problems and the challenges of agriculture and research. The actual solutions for the challenges were not mentioned, which doesn’t make me fully satisfied.
I think women and youth are major contributors to agricultural development. In Nepal, the contribution of women in agriculture is higher compared to that of men. According to recent data (2009) from the Ministry of Agricultural Development, 72.8 percent of economically active women (age group 10 years and over) engage in agriculture – 12.6 percent more than men.
Also, youth who make up most of the population cannot be underestimated. The future itself is in the hands of the next generation. The sessions were informative in general and the hall was filled with highly experienced people, but the dialogue doesn’t seem to involve many young people or address their importance in the agricultural sector.
What were my expectations? Well, I wanted to see plans or policies to encourage and empower women in agriculture, especially South-Asian women. I wanted to share some good news for young agricultural researchers using social media. But I still have hope. The meeting continues today (Wednesday) and I hope to hear something that I want to hear, something that I want to be heard.
Blogpost by Nikita Bhusal, #GCARD3 Social Reporter – bhusalnikita(at)yahoo.com
Photo courtesy CCAFS
This post is part of the live coverage during the #GCARD3 Regional Consultation for Asia and Pacific region. This post is written by one of our social reporters, and represents the author’s views only.