Taking stock of our progress: YPARD 2016 annual report

23 May 2017 by Emmie Wachira

Promotion of agriculture among the youth, both online and offline, remains a key focus at YPARD.

2016 was no exception especially given that YPARD was celebrating its 10 years anniversary. As a network, we not only celebrated our 10 years journey but went ahead to continue fulfilling our mandate of ensuring that young professionals realize their full potential and contribute proactively towards innovative agricultural development.

These achievements are well reflected in the YPARD 2016 annual report and among them include;

Youth in agriculture mentorship

Four successful pilot mentoring program were completed in 2016. These included the face to face program in Kenya, an online women in business program,  the Youth In Landscapes conference mentoring and the  Young Agripreneur Program  in partnership with GFAR. In addition, the mentorship programs inspired national chapters to innovate and develop locally relevant programs, most notably in Croatia and in Nepal, to suit the young professionals needs.

Meaningful youth engagement in strategic ARD events

In 2016, YPARD contributed and participated in seven meaningful global ARD events. These events include; GFAR’s third Global Conference for Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD3) as well as five FAO and IFAD events. In addition, the youth in landscapes initiative, co-founded by YPARD to boost multi-sectoral collaboration among the youth, together with other stakeholders, organized its fourth annual program at the 2016 Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) held in Marrakesh, Morocco, at the sideline of the COP22. This set the basis for meaningful engagement of youth at the GLF.

Contributions to discussions on curricula reforms in agricultural education

Three key discussions took place in 2016 among young professionals with relevant stakeholders. At Tropentag, young professionals explored how educational programs can help to support a youth-led vision of agricultural development  while with GCHERA, YPARD members explored and gave their inputs on the relevance of agricultural education in 21st century.

Strengthened governance of the YPARD teams

During the year, we launched new country pages on the YPARD website to serve as dedicated national chapter pages for unique national connections and information sharing. In the same length, a new YPARD Mediterranean chapter was created by Mediterranean youth and is connected to stakeholders in the region for stronger youth input in regional development.
 
On a national and regional level, we welcomed ten new country representatives, a regional coordination unit for Europe, and four interns in the Global, African and European unit to boost the information services and communications in English, French and Spanish. In addition, national teams - including Peru, Togo, Uzbekistan, and India - increasingly organized YPARD Cafés and similar gatherings to discuss and deliberate on youth’s challenges and how to take action.

Capacity development for young professionals

A series of five international hangouts enabled national teams to learn and exchange with other teams on topics such as communications, team building, negotiations, fundraising and the next phase of the mentoring program.

In addition, national teams around the world organized capacity development opportunities to empower members on agripreneurship in the Democratic Republic of Congo;  social media (ICT4AG) in Trinidad and Tobago; grant application writing in Nepal and  communications and finance in Togo. Increasingly, our members apply the knowledge they have gained through YPARD opportunities to train their peers more notably in Nepal, Trinidad and Tobago and the Philippines. This is true impact of the network!

To sum up, here are some of the top 10 key achievements for YPARD for 2016

  1. Vibrant YPARD 10 year’s celebrations around the world (online and onsite)
  2. A new YPARD Mediterranean chapter
  3. New country brand pages on the YPARD website
  4. Youth capacity development opportunities organized by the national teams around the world
  5. Successful mentoring program pilot phase, incl. 4 models and local programs
  6. Research on “Youth in Drylands’ Systems” and its promotional campaign
  7. Young professionals contributions to discussions on curricula reforms in agriculture with multiple stakeholders
  8. Meaningful youth engagement at seven global events, including GCARD3, FAO, IFAD and Global Landscapes Forum 2016
  9. YPARD’s advisory role to global, regional and national organizations for stronger support to the youth
  10. Promotion of agriculture among youth through campaigns, events and various innovative media

Read further on the YPARD 2016 Annual Report to see the exciting initiatives taking place at local, national, regional and global level and what YPARD has accomplished in 2016.