GFAR blog, Research in society

Turning the spotlight on the next generation’s role in agriculture


FAO estimates that between 20 and 40 percent of global crop yields are reduced each year due to the damage wrought by plant pests and diseases. This is a staggering amount that has a real impact on our food and nutrition security. It is therefore crucial that in this more and more globalized world, we need to increase our efforts to protect food security and the environment, while ensuring protection of crops from pests and diseases.

One of the keys to increasing food security and poverty reduction is recognizing the power of the next generation in driving new agriculture and agri-business enterprises. One of the principal challenges identified by FAO in their 2014 publication “Youth and agriculture: Key challenges and concrete solutions” was the next generation’s insufficient access to knowledge, information and education.

GFAR has long been a strong advocate for youth and understanding that youth are pivotal for the future of agriculture and the world’s food security. In 2016-2017 GFAR championed the Youth Agripreneurs Project. Now, three of the GFAR partners; CropLife International,  IAAS (International Association of Students in Agricultural and Related Sciences) and YPARD (Young Professionals for Agricultural Development) are working together with Ghent University, to engage youth in a new programme to showcase the next generation’s crucial role in the future of agriculture – the IUPAC 2019 Next Generation Programme.


Since 1967, the IUPAC International Congress has served as the premier forum of international exchange of scientific information and to discuss emerging issues of global significance in agriculture and crop protection. The Congress, held every four years, highlights state-of-the-art scientific advances and regulatory approaches and attracts an audience from 1000 to 1500 scientists from the public and private sector as well as academia.

The theme for the 14th IUPAC International Congress of Crop Protection, being held in Ghent, Belgium, is “Crop Protection: Education of the Future Generation”. Following on this theme CropLife International, IIAS and YPARD are staging a programme specially targeted for the next generation of crop protection leaders. Their aim is to give young agricultural students and researchers an opportunity to meet, exchange ideas, build skills and share knowledge.

What is on offer?

For those that are between 18 and 40 years old, are a student or recent graduate from an agricultural educational institution, have thought a lot about how to protect food security and the environment, and have a great innovation or idea or about sustainable crop protection, this is a great opportunity to win a trip to the IUPAC 2019 Next Generation Programme in Ghent, Belgium.

Through the sponsorship of CropLife International, IUPAC 2019 is offering 50 sponsored places to the next generation of leaders in crop protection to participate in the four-day Agri Summit in Ghent, Belgium (19-23 May 2019) and link with the IUPAC International Congress. YPARD and IAAS are developing the program for the Agri-Summit so that it is truly designed and developed by youth for youth.

From among the Next Generation Agri-Summit applications up to five will be selected for the N-GAGE (Next Generation Agricultural Innovators) project. They will be provided seed funding (€5,000) to facilitate the startup of their innovation or project idea in crop protection. For one year (May 2019-May 2020), these young innovators will receive mentoring and training within their innovation/idea, linking them with seasoned researchers and practitioners and integrating them in other agricultural youth networks and organizations. Training on new ways to advocate and network using innovative communication tools will be provided.

Want to apply?

Applications for the IUPAC 2019 Next Generation Programme are now invited. More information and all the details are on the IUPAC 2019 Next Generation website in the “How to Apply” page.

PARTNER SPOTLIGHT logoThis blog post is part of our Partner Spotlight on YPARDCropLife International and IAAS to promote youth participation in the IUPAC 2019 Next Generation Programme. The Programme aligns with GFAR’s key focus to empower youths to turn knowledge and innovation into enterprise, and builds on the success of the Youth Agripreneurs Project – YAP – an innovative mechanism created by GFAR and YPARD to stimulate smallholder youth entrepreneurship and to ensure that the voices of youth are engaged in shaping the future of agri-food research and innovation.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s