The role of young
Researchers in
setting the ARD
research agenda
Peter Mwaura Mutua
Young Professionals’ Platform for Agricultural
Research for Development (YPARD)
Plant Research International
Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and
Technology
Young Professionals’ Platform for
Agricultural Research for
Development
OUTLINE
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Introduction
Policies in Agriculture and Agricultural research
Pertinent questions in ARD
Why YPARD?
Young professionals’ value added and disadvantages
YPARD as a link
YPARD achievements so far
Suggestion for course of action
Some examples
INTRODUCTION
INTRODUCTION
• Global population numbers are on track to reach 7 billion in 2011
• Virtually all of the growth is in developing countries
• And the growth of the world’s youth population (ages 15 to 24) is
shifting into the poorest of those countries
• In developing countries 75% of poor live in rural areas
• Agriculture thus vital for poverty reduction and food security
• But interest among young people in agriculture seems to decrease
http://www.prb.org/Publications/Datasheets/2009/2009wpds.aspx
World Population Growth Is Almost Entirely
Concentrated in the World's Poorer Countries
World Population (in Billions): 1950-2050
Source: United Nations Population Division, World Population Prospects, The 2008 Revision.
The World’s Youth Population Will Become
More Concentrated in Africa and Asia
Population Ages 15-24 by World Region: 1950 and 2050
1950
Source: Carl Haub and Mary Mederios Kent, 2009 World Population Data Sheet.
2050
Who shapes agricultural decisions
• Governments underscore the importance of
agriculture
• In policy debates shaping the future of agriculture
and agricultural research for Development rarely
involve the youth
• The voice of the youth has to be heard…..
Pertinent questions – where is the youth?
• Do the youth understand the political economy and policy
processes
surrounding
agriculture
in
specific
regional/country settings
• Do they have the capacity to critically assess how food and
agriculture is understood in policy circles
• Do they know the extent to which bureaucratic, political,
budgetary and other processes either support or constrain
investment in the agricultural sector?
If yes …………
• What is the understanding and the perception and
potential and roles of youth in the future of ARD?.
• How is the demographic change affecting the
availability of farmers in the future?
• How can agriculture be made more attractive as a
livelihood option for future farmers in Africa?
If the questions find no answers ?
It will be business as usual and……
the Young professionals will be
missing in strategic policy debates
NOVEMBER 8TH 2006, NEW DELHI, INDIA
Fresh
perspectives
At ease with
change
More
computer
literate
Value added of
Young Professionals
More aware
of new tools
Lack
negotiating
skills
Lack conflict Disadvantages of
resolving Young Professionals
skills
YPARD AS A LINK?
YPARD Vision
• Sustainably improved livelihoods, worldwide,
through dynamic agricultural research for
development (ARD)
Mission
• To serve as a global platform through which young
professionals can express their ideas and realize
their full potential towards a dynamic agricultural
research for development.
YPARD OBJECTIVES
1. Facilitate exchange of information and knowledge among young
professionals across disciplines, professions, age and regions
2. Broaden opportunities for YPs to contribute to strategic ARD
policy debates
3. To promote agriculture among young people
4. Facilitate access to resources and capacity building opportunities
Concrete achievements of YPARD so
far……
• 1581 members, 117 countries as of 10.02.09
• Functional Website
• Regional and local representatives worldwide
• Youth organizations related to ARD – Mapping (Publication – March
2009)
• YPARD newsletter – 4 times/year – November 2008, February 2009
• TERRA VIVA – YPARD funding newsletter for young professionals in
ARD – 6 times/year
Concrete achievements of YPARD so
far……
• Knowledge, Education and Learning meeting (Maputo, Dec. 2009) –
YPARD supported by GFAR was one of the lead organizer together
with GFAR, ICT-KM, COL.
• East Africa – Young Farmers Strengthening Project (YOFA)
• South Asia – Leveraging the Potential of Young Professionals for
Agriculture Research for Development in India
• Latin America and Caribbean – Assessing the role of Young People in
ARD in Latin America and Caribbean
• Grant writing workshop –how to write successful research and grant
proposals
Participation in ARD Meetings
FUTURE PERSPECTIVES
• Electronic
discussion fora (ongoing)
• Linking young professionals through regional fora –
GFAR, APAARI, FARA, FORAGRO, AARINENA) – EC –
FSTP (Concept note submitted after discussion) –
(December 2008)
• Youth and United Nationas Global Alliance (FAO,
UNFCCC forum for youth) – publication on youth quick
guide to climate change (August 2009)
YPARD MEMBERSHIP
•
Program committee – GFAR
• Steering committee – GFAR (official communication
awaited)
• Reciprocal membership – APAARI
• Advisory committee (2008-2010) – (ACP-EU) CTA
Suggestions for course of action
Stimulating career development of young professionals
• Support for better advocacy for young professionals:
– Support and lobby for policies within organisations
– Negotiate “young-professional friendly” budgets
– Ensure age balance in teams
– Design research projects that are relevant to young people
Suggestions for course of action
Stimulating career development of young professionals
• Develop capacity of young professionals to take part in
agricultural research and policy debate by:
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–
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innovative mentoring and experience programs
gradually involving them in policy debate
giving more support to youth-led organisations
promoting pro-activeness among young professionals
• Need for more thorough assessment of the impact of
short-term contracts
Suggestions for course of action
Improving the quality of agricultural education:
• More specific attention to agricultural education
• Strengthening information availability on enrolment
• Advocacy among donors for investments
Increasing investments in agricultural research: More
involvement of private sector to stimulate innovation
Creation of youth interest in agriculture:
• Among the general public in Africa
• Sensitization on agricultural careers
• More attention for employment and salaries
• Improving awareness of African policy makers for
agricultural employment
Some examples: general
• Specific focus on agriculture and Africa:
– African Youth Forum on Science and Technology (AYFST)
– Programs of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa
(FARA): BASIC, PAEPARD, SCARDA
– Regional Universities Forum for capacity building in
agriculture (RUFORUM)
• Use of ICT tools:
– Examples of tools: Grads-LinkedIn, Devex
– Initiatives that use ICT as a major tool: AYFST, ResearchAfrica.net, TakingITGlobal
Some examples: stimulating career
development of YPs
• Lobby and advocacy:
– Young Professionals’ Platform for Agricultural Research
for Development (YPARD)
• Mentoring and experience:
– CTA internship programme
– Netherlands Associate Expert Program
• Promote pro-activeness:
– FairFood volunteers
– CIDIN advanced Master programme
Thank you for your
attention
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Youth Engagement in Agricultural Research for …