We are delighted to welcome Jim Leandro Cano as a new YPARD Steering Committee Member!
Jim has been in the youth-in-ag advocacy space since he came on board as YPARDs Country Representative for the Philippines in 2015. Since then, he has contributed in many ways to the YPARD global network, both at the country and international level. He also served as the Capacity Building and Policy Officer for YPARD Asia Pacific, while also representing the Regional Unit at the High-Level Policy Dialogue organized by APAARRI that was in line with the GCARD3 Regional Consultations. Eventually, he also helped in bringing youths voice to the GCARD3 as he delivered a Keynote Speech highlighting how youth can be integrated across agrifood systems.
After that, he continued to represent YPARD in many other key agricultural conferences or participate in YPARD events such as the following:
Fourth International Agronomy Congress, New Delhi, India
Foresight Training, Beijing, China
Womens Empowerment, E-commerce Development and Poverty Alleviation Training and Workshop, Beijing, China
YPARD Asia Pacific Regional Meetings
YPARD Strategic Planning and Fundraising Meeting, Prague, Czech Republic
In 2017, Jim was invited to join the Annual Meeting of the Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS). It was in this meeting that he and other young people at the conference (other YPARD members namely - Alpha Sennon and Marc Bappa) got the approval from the GFRAS Steering Committee to establish the GFRAS Youth Working Group. Fast forward to today, GFRAS and YPARD are now working closely.
In 2018, he was invited by the Private Sector Mechanism of the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) to participate in its 45th Annual Session. After engaging with other young people and youth networks, the Youth Alliance for Zero Hunger (formerly called as the RBA Youth Council) was birthed with which Jim was appointed by YPARD Global as the Focal Person. Today, he now sits as the Chair of the Youth Alliance and is working closely with the UN Food Agencies (aka Rome-based Agencies or RBAs) FAO, IFAD, WFP, and CFS. The Youth Alliance also is taking an active role in the UN Food Systems Summit Youth Liaison Group among other initiatives.
At the policy level, Jim has spoken at the 42nd IFAD Governing Council, the FAO Annual Conference in 2019, and at the 46th Annual Session of the UN CFS in Rome, Italy. Currently, he serves as one of the seven authors who are working on the High-Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) Report on Youth. The HLPE is the scientific body of the CFS.
His work experience in the Philippines has gone from being a research assistant to a British bioenergy consultancy firm to teaching agricultural systems and entrepreneurship at the University of the Philippines Los Baños, and now as the Director for Agritech at 8Layer Technologies Inc. As the Director for Agritech, he and his team are creating ICT4Ag solutions that focus mainly on Satellite-based Internet, Big Data, Cybersecurity, and food supply chain solutions.
Jim is happily married to Jewel, who is a veterinarian. When he is not engaged in agri-related activities, he enjoys his hobbies of photography, drone photography, digital sketching, and music (violin and drums).
Welcome on board Jim Leandro Cano!