Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD) in Zambia is undertaking activities aimed at creating interest in and commitment to agricultural development among the youth, through information exchange, dialogue, networking and mentorship.
We are looking for Successful Young Farmers (35 years and below) who can be our Role Models for Secondary School Students. These should be active farmers or main players along the Agriculture Value Chain. The Role Models will not only have the benefit of mentoring secondary school students but also have their farming or Value Chain development activities documented in a short video of about 6 to 10 minutes. The short documentaries will be promoted widely among organisations working in Agriculture in Zambia and beyond, giving them an opportunity to showcase their business to the World for free.
Similarly, we are looking for Young Professionals in Agriculture; young people who have undertaken any Agriculture-related studies and have a successful career Agriculture. They will provide mentorship on careers in Agriculture to the secondary school students.
The targeted districts are Manyinga District, Kasama District and Serenje District. Two (2) Farmer Role Models are required for each district and one (1) Young Professional in Agriculture for each district.
The Role Models should be residents of particular districts. The Role Models should participate voluntarily.
The activities have been planned to be conducted in three (3) rural districts in Zambia and engage students from eight (8) secondary schools. Public forum debates and Success Story Mentoring Sessions will be held at selected schools. Role Models who are successful Young Farmers and a Professional in Agriculture such as a Researcher, will be present at these Public Forum Debates and conduct Success Story Mentoring Sessions to the students. On the farm Short documentaries of role models will be recorded to promote and showcase their success stories and use this multi-media content to further promote their work and use their stories to encourage young people to engage in agriculture.
The activities will:
Showcase to secondary school students the opportunities which careers in the agricultural sector present;
Showcase to the youth that agriculture creates employment for them and can be run as a profitable business;
Create a platform for young people to interact with role models in the agricultural sector, have dialogue and network;
Promote role models in the agricultural sector through multimedia.
The impact will be that, the participating secondary school students will attain more information and knowledge on youth and agriculture in particular how youth can benefit from agriculture. They will also be informed and helped to make informed decisions on choosing a career in the agricultural sector as well as taking up Agriculture as a profitable business venture.
Interest in Agriculture among the youth is declining. Young people lack access to information that would help them make informed decisions such as choosing Agriculture as a career path. More so, youths do not see agriculture as a profitable venture, and still have negative perceptions about agriculture, which is mistaken to be for old people, for rural people or simply those who have failed or have bad grades at school. Our activity aims at tackling this!
Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD), a global movement of young professionals in agriculture hosted at GFAR at the FAO-UN Headquarters with regional and country representatives across the World including Zambia, has over the years demonstrated to be a growing and leading organisation engaging the youth in agricultural development. YPARD has recorded success in engaging the youth at various levels to raise awareness and advocate for the involvement of the youth in agricultural development.
Furthermore, youth activism in attracting even more youths to agriculture is on the rise, and networking and knowledge sharing has made it even more effective for the youth to take a role in promoting agriculture among the youth.
Among the notable efforts being made by YPARD, is the promotion of agriculture among the youth through identification and dissemination of multi-media to showcase role models in agriculture, and having dialogue with secondary school pupils to help them understand the benefits of considering agriculture as a career pathway as well as profitable business venture.