We are delighted to welcome our very first YPARD Country representative for Spain: Mariola Acosta.
Mariola is an agronomist with a MSc. in Sustainable Agricultural Development from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark and the University of Montpellier SupAgro, France. Her research interest focuses on gender analysis in climate change adaptation and more broadly on gender mainstreaming in agricultural development. Her other research interests include youth engagement in agriculture, agro-biodiversity conservation and under-utilized crops.
In 2013 she joined the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) as a visiting researcher to assist in a case study on gender dynamics in the adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices in Colombia, which constituted the basis for her master’s thesis research. Afterwards, she worked in Sri Lanka on the empowerment of women producer groups through participatory guarantee systems. Concurrent with these activities, in January 2014 she co-founded the Global AgroEcology Alliance, a youth-led agricultural development initiative.
Mariola is currently undertaking her PhD as a research fellow at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the University of Wageningen. Her research focuses on the gender inclusiveness of climate change adaptation policies in Uganda and Tanzania and its implications for the adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices.
“I’m really excited about having been given the opportunity to extend the work of YPARD in Spain and I look forward to contributing to its efforts and building, with each passing day a stronger network in the country. I aim to progressively engage, in an active way, more and more Spanish young professionals in this international network and to disseminate the numerous opportunities that are out there for young professionals in our field.
As a first step, we have created the YPARD Spain Facebook group as a tool to facilitate the exchange of ideas and opportunities for young professionals in agriculture. Then, in the near future we are planning to arrange informational meetings, establishing links with other universities and national youth organizations and organizing different events and activities to encourage the exchange of knowledge and ideas.
We can’t wait to hear more from the Youth-in-Agriculture in Spain and we trust that YPARD Spain will be successful in mobilizing the youth through Mariola’s leadership.