Young people are instrumental in delivering on a sustainable future for agriculture. If we are to ensure this happens there needs to be opportunities for agricultural students and young professionals to be provided with the tools to become powerful, actionable leaders. GFAR has launched two key focus areas that support youth in agriculture – Engaging Youth in Agriculture for Increased Food Security and Poverty Reduction and Inter-Regional Youth Platforms for Exchange of Experience and Knowledge and Widening Opportunities.
One of the occasions where the next generation of crop protection leaders can showcase their crucial role in the future of agriculture is to be part of the IUPAC 2019 Next Generation Programme. This Programme, organized by Ghent University and supported by CropLife International (a GFAR Partner), has two components
- A four-day Agri Summit in Ghent, Belgium (19-23 May 2019) that links with the 14th IUPAC International Congress on Crop Protection.
- The N-GAGE (Next Generation Agricultural Innovators) project which will provide seed funding (€5,000), mentoring and training to up to 5 of the Agri-Summit participants.
For the IUPAC 2019 Next Generation Agri-Summit, we at IAAS and YPARD (both GFAR Partners) are working together to develop a program that will deliver exactly what participants are looking for and need. And we aren’t doing this just ourselves – we are reaching out and listening to the next generation of leaders in sustainable crop protection. We want to make sure that the Next Generation Agri-Summit expresses our goals, our voice and our future!
Since this is a program for youth by youth, we are very interested to hear the ideas of the next generation of crop protection leaders and explore ways to integrate these not only in the Next Generation Agri-Summit but how to integrate with the main Congress as well. We think that a combination of a stand-along program for the next generation leaders that includes interaction and dialogue with the scientists, researchers and policy makers engaged in the Congress will benefit us all. Through this, the participants will get to know the congress participants and expand their networks.
Already being planned is a one-day social media training session for the Agri-Summit participants. This will help us to develop our social media and communication skills as they relate to the agriculture sector. We plan to not only learn but also to practically implement our learning, and share interesting Congress and Agri-Summit proceedings to those following us online as well as engage with other participants onsite. One suggestion already given to us is to have the Agri-Summit participants interview some senior IUPAC 2019 Congress participants on issues related to shared professional/research interests.
Over and above the interaction with the main Congress there are 17 hours of the Agri-Summit program to be designed by us – together with your help and suggestions. We want to provide opportunities for every interested next generation leader in crop protection to contribute to the structure and contents of the Agri-Summit. We are hoping for a innovative, interesting and interactive program and we are certain that, together, we can garner insights that could help us achieve this goal.
So…tell us what topic(s) related to sustainable agriculture, food systems and crop protection that you want the Agri-Summit to focus on and how should we do it? Through a soft skill training, debate, world café, interviews, …?
How about this to whet your appetite…. I’d love the program to include a workshop on how participants could lead and contribute to the exploring the links between integrated pest management and climate change.
Now, how can you share your ideas with us? You can do this by sending in your suggestions to our email: firstname.lastname@example.org. As well you can send a message or make a short (30s-1min) video on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and tag @IUPACNextGen and use the hashtag #iupacNextGen #youth so we get to see your messages.
We look forward to hearing and reading your ideas for the program. And if you want to be one of the participants don’t forget to apply! You just have to be 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 to share about sustainable crop protection. All the details on the IUPAC 2019 Next Generation Programme website.
This blog post is part of our Partner Spotlight on YPARD, CropLife 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.