Gorgeously green yet swamped with people, Bangladesh is a rural wonderland laden with waterways, peppered with villages and bursting with humanity. In Bangladesh, agriculture sector is the largest contributor (more than 20%) to GDP, income and employment generation and a vital factor in achieving food self-sufficiency that works as a tool to reduce rural poverty and promote sustainable economic development (Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, 2010). The component of the sector includes crops, fisheries, livestock and forestry. In a nutshell, agriculture is the main wheel of economic growth in Bangladesh. Therefore, increasing food and agriculture production have always been considered as major concerns of Bangladeshi policy-makers. As the economy primarily dependent on agriculture, about 80 percent of the total population live in rural areas and are directly or indirectly engaged in a wide range of agriculture activities (BBS, 2010; Rahama and Schmitz, 2007). The country, at present, has achieved self-sufficiency in cereal production (in terms of rice only) (FAO, 2011).
Youth (10-24 years) is approximately 30% of the total population of the country in 2015. There are ten governments and five private Universities have tertiary education in agriculture. Moreover, in total of 288 government and non-government diploma institutes are present for vocational degree and training on agriculture, forestry, veterinary and fisheries. Due to dense population and decrease of agricultural lands in the country leads to lack of interest in agricultural education among the youths. Thus, a large youth generation is seeking non-agricultural jobs as profession which seems to them very lucrative. This situation seems to be projected to lead a drastic decrease in number of farmers in near future that will create an unwieldy insecurity in food production system.
With the forecast of the above situation, YPARD has started his journey in Bangladesh from 2010 and running its activities and inspiring young people to join in this agricultural movement to engage them in agricultural profession for better future of Bangladesh. At present, we have hundreds of registered members on the website from different Universities and research organizations and thousands of members in our FaceBook Group. YPARD Bangladesh is now in expansion of its network among the Universities and working to collaborate with different government and NGOs. YPARD Bangladesh has partnership with Bangladesh Institute of ICT in Development (BIID) and International University of Business Agriculture & Technology (IUBAT) to working on youth motivation and capacity building on agriculture. We are currently moving towards more exciting activities at national level and extending collaborations and networks.