YPARD, IAAS, CropLife and the University of Ghent share why they are so excited to help give youth in agriculture an opportunity to share and develop their innovations in sustainable crop protection.
When we first sat down to talk about how to engage youth in being part of the future of crop health we were inspired. We were inspired by the thousands of young people that have taken up agricultural studies; we were inspired by the hundreds of young agriculturalists that have brought their energy and enthusiasm to international agricultural conferences, and we were even more inspired by the voices of youth who reached out to us wanting to be involved with the IUPAC International Congress being held in Belgium, 19-24 May 2019.
This week GFAR has placed a spotlight on our endeavours as organizations who recognize the value of the next generation’s critical role in sustainable agriculture. As partners in GFAR we can see that the Next Generation Programme helps to fulfill the vision articulated in a GFAR Key Focus Area of engaging youth in agriculture to increase food security and poverty reduction.
Why do we think engaging the next generation is important? As an international organization CropLife champions the role of agricultural innovations in crop protection and plant biotechnology to support and advance sustainable agriculture. In our recognition that today’s youth become tomorrow’s leaders, we are providing significant financial support to the IUPAC 2019 Next Generation Programme. We have a strong interest in providing the opportunity for the next generation of crop protection leaders to come together, to share ideas, to learn and to network.
YPARD and IAAS are networks of students and young professionals in agriculture, and, like GFAR, we are movements for a brighter future for agriculture and food. We promote a stronger voice of youth in their own organizations as well as sharing their views on a global stage. We are all about encouraging the interchange of ideas and promoting cooperation and understanding in sustainable agriculture. That is why the IUPAC 2019 Next Generation Programme is such a good fit with us. As the co-developers of the Next Generation Agri-Summit we are really investing in a program that expresses the needs and views of youth in not only what topics are included but also how that program is delivered. The Agri-Summit is going to be an innovative and exciting program so we want to hear your views – even if you don’t apply – though of course we hope you do!
As the host of the IUPAC 2019 Congress and Next Generation Programme, we at the University of Ghent started our initial planning of the Congress with the question of how to engage plant protection students and young researchers. As our Chair of the Organizing Committee, Peter Spanoghe, said “including the Next-Generation Agri Summit in the IUPAC Congress is the perfect occasion to engage and build awareness of the next generation of scientists and farmers in the role of crop protection in a global and sustainable food production system”.
So now that the contest has been launched, we are amazed at the reaction and the incredible ideas and innovations that are being proposed by students and young researchers. If you haven’t had a chance yet we really encourage you to visit the IUPAC 2019 Next Generation website blog. Like us you will be amazed at the inspiration shown by the applicants. They cover a huge range of ideas around sustainable crop protection. There is everything from the use of drones and human artificial intelligence through to biopesticides and integrated pest management. And in addition to the more technical innovations there are great ideas on how to engage young farmers and the community in sustainable crop protection.
In fact, we’ve been so impressed by the response that we’ve extended the deadline to 14 February 2019. We hope that more of the next generation of leaders in crop protection will apply and win a spot in the IUPAC 2019 Next Generation Programme.
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.
Photo credits: 1- IAAS; 2- Kafui Kwesi Agbe