Nigeria has continued to lead the pack of countries doing their best to revitalize the agriculture sector in Africa. It is further quite interesting to see the role many young people are playing in this dynamic field.
Over the years, the activities of this youth network have continued to grow. Members have found a place to not only receive important information on agriculture but also to effectively share their experiences and thoughts. As members have immensely benefited from information about scholarships, funding, workshop and conferences, YPARD website has especially proved useful.
The Year 2014
In 2014, our activities went (a lot) beyond online engagement through YPARD website and our YPARD Nigeria Facebook Group. During the past year, we are pleased to report activities in which our members actively represented us on the ground such as:
- The Kogi State University (KSU) YPARD Chapter was happy to host YPARD Nigeria member, Praise Uke in a one-day workshop that focused on the skill enhancement necessary for youth in agriculture;
- Members took part in the Workshop on Engagement of Youth Entrepreneurship for Agricultural Transformation organized by IITA and partners in developing the Youth in Agribusiness Development Initiative (YADI) Framework. In this event we were able to not only participate but train 10 members of the IITA Youth Agripreneurs (IYA) in the use of Social Media;
- The HEDA Resource Centre (HEDA) Social media week event tagged #Hungerpalava that was held in Lagos also had members from YPARD Nigeria present to join in practical discussions on smallholders and ways to enhance their productivity in the face of numerous challenges;
- To wrap up activities for the coming year, we took part in the Youth and Climate Smart Agriculture Workshop put together by FARA and ICRAF held in Nairobi, Kenya.
It is motivating for us to have ended up 2014 as the country with the 2nd largest number of registered members on the YPARD website!
Optimizing your YPARD Membership in 2015
Just a handful of members were involved in these activities. How can you then optimize your membership in 2015? Here are some helpful tips for you:
I. SIGN UP: YPARD Nigeria’s Facebook group indicates we have over 2,000 members, however just over 800 are actually registered on the YPARD website. So if you are not registered, take about 5 minutes of your time and sign up here. You will be happy with the amount of information and doors this could open to you;
II. KNOW YOUR REPRESENTATIVES: YPARD Nigeria team comprises a 5-person National Working Group and 6 Local Representatives. These dedicated individuals represent clusters of members in selected focus universities and states. Below are their names and email contacts just in case you are close to them:
- Praise Uke – Partnership Officer –firstname.lastname@example.org
- Abdul Quadr Omotola –Communication Officer –email@example.com
- Lebile Atinuke– Administrative Officer- firstname.lastname@example.org
- Kalu Samuel– Program Officer- email@example.com
- Ajilore Oluwabunmi Advisor to National Working Group- firstname.lastname@example.org
- Adeyeye Wole Local Rep., University of Ibadan– email@example.com
- Adetoyese Omole- Local Rep. FUTAkure– firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ajinwo Chinwe- Local Rep. FUNAAB–email@example.com
- Nwaogu Kingsley- Local Rep.Abia State–firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ikechukwu Jude – Local Rep. MOUAU –email@example.com.
- Bosco Jay- Local Rep Oyo/Ogun States- firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are available to interact and organize youth in your locality to form an YPARD Nigeria Chapter please send an email to email@example.com
III. SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE: Many of us have interesting stories either as farmers, researchers, policy makers, or in other roles we are actively engaged in the agriculture sector. Why don’t you share your experiences/views on the YPARD blog? Or do you think you can be the YPARD Person of the Month? You can simply send your article or stories to firstname.lastname@example.org. You don’t have to be a professional writer to share. Rest assured that necessary guidance and help will be given to make your write-ups come out right.
2015 will indeed be an awesome year. We will be hosting a National Event focused on Climate Smart Agriculture and YPARD Cafes in our four focused universities (FUTAkure, FUNAAB, UI and MOUAU). So if you happen to find yourself in any of these institutions, kindly reach out our local representatives.
We will be also expanding our social media reach by having a YPARD Nigeria Blog and Twitter handle. Young professionals in agriculture, now is the time for us to make our mark and contribute to the dynamism of Nigeria´s agriculture sector no matter what aspect we find ourselves. One key way to do this is to be active stakeholders in YPARD activities. We’ve got what it takes to contribute to making the right changes, and together we can.
Have an amazing 2015!
OJO Olawale, YPARD Nigeria Representative
Photo Credit: YPARD Nigeria members at the HEDA organized Social Media Week Event tagged #hungerpalava, by Zaid.