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Engaging with youth in Agriculture - YPARD GCARD2 Pre-conference meeting

“Agriculture is an ageing and undervalued profession in many countries and special attention must be given to encouraging young people into careers in all aspects of AR4D...It is important that young people themselves help express what changes are needed in agricultural education and incentives to make careers more attractive and valued and better recognize the range of roles now required in AR4D...” GCARD Road Map

The YPARD pre-conference meeting at the second Global Conference for Agricultural Research for Development - GCARD2 , 28th October 2012, will provide opportunities for young professionals active in agricultural research for development to network, become more engaged with international AR4D and provide their input into high level discussions, for which they rarely have the opportunity to take part.

It will also provide a valuable feed-in to the GCARD, for working towards a GCARD that builds on consensus for the future of AR4D that includes all stakeholders.  This session seeks to provide clear and tangible ways to engage with youth and obtain the ‘buy-in’ from the ARD community during the plenary and commitments from individual organisations.

What’s the plan?

YPARD engaged its members in pre-consultations on the YPARD online forum on three topics, to set the basis for the interventions and maximise the face-to-face interaction.  One member from each group developed a summary of the discussion which will be presented during the YPARD session.

20 young professionals active in AR4D have been selected to attend the YPARD session.  This session will consist of presentations, full group discussions and three working groups, centered around the three topics covered in the e-consultations.

The results will contribute to the goal of the C2.2 capacity development session, which aims to: produce recommendations for realistic and meaningful actions to be achieved over the next two years, within the context of GCARD.

What will be discussed?

 The YPARD session aims: 

  • To identify value and reward systems that can have an impact in drawing young people into ARD

What are some successful initiatives that we can learn from and scale-up?  What role can youth play in a transformed agricultural economy?  What types of programs can be realistically implemented over the next two years by those ARD organisations at the GCARD that can make a difference?

  • To identify key ways that youth can contribute to AIS (Agricultural Innovation Systems) and concrete steps that those involved in AIS can take to engage youth

How can we have greater engagement of youth and what can they bring to the process?  What is the reality for a youth wanting to engage in entrepreneurship today?  What tools do we have that can track the engagement of youth?

  • To identify key areas required for curriculum reform, as identified by YPs and move towards an inclusive curriculum reform process, involving a wide range of stakeholders, including YPs.

What are practical ways in which we can encourage and empower youth with skill sets, awareness, entrepreneurial skills and hard (ARD) and soft (leadership, strategic skills etc) that support this in an inclusive way?  How can we work with other initiatives to ensure that youth input is included in curriculum development? How can curriculum reform provide a meaningful way to ensure real work prospects for YPs?

Interacting with other stakeholders!

Some YPARD representatives will be attending  the Saturday, October 27th session: ‘Building Capacities in Agriculture Based on Needs’ organized by AGRINATURA in collaboration with other institutions/organizations, to link up on capacity building needs for youth in ARD.

Additionally, on Sunday morning, experienced professionals from the Saturday session will join the YPARD meeting to see how youth can be better represented in their own initiatives, identify areas of collaboration and joint actions.

We will also consider collective action with other youth based networks, such as: ARDYIS, E-agriculture, GYIN, YPLD etc.

Strengthening YPARD way forward!

YPs will also brainstorm on YPARD and its role in engaging YPs in ARD and its impact upon the professional lives of YPs. This session will focus on the experiences of members with YPARD : what they find useful, what they do not, and how they feel YPARD can become more useful for youth in ARD.


Have a look at the full agenda of YPARD event: Engaging with youth in Agriculture.

Will you be attending the GCARD2? Are you a Young Professional (<40 years old)?

Would you be interested to join? Write to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , with subject line: /YPARD PRE-EVENT/!

Please note that seats are limited.

If you are not attending the GCARD2, stay on-line: our YPs are also social reporting enthusiasts. We will keep in touch with you through twitter #GCARD2 mainly. Give your input and participate to the discussions!

Read the reports of the e-discussions:

- Value and reward systems: enticing Young Professionals (YP) to agriculture! - Outcomes of YPARD e-discussions for GCARD2

- Changes in agricultural curricula - Outcomes of YPARD e-discussions for GCARD2

- Youth and Agricultural Innovation System (AIS) - Outcomes of YPARD e-discussions for GCARD2

Share your ideas, comments, suggestions or experience about the 3 topics, by letting a comment below, by tweeting with hashtag #GCARD2 and #youth and/or to @YPARD, conversing on Facebook YPARD group or YPARD page, or by writing to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (email subject: GCARD2 youth conversations - )

You may like have a look also to AGRINATURA and EFARD pre-conference workshop of 27th: "Building Capacities in agriculture based on needs. This session is open; you are welcome to join!

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