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GCARD2: YPARD Paved the Way for Me….You could be next!

Just barely two weeks after graduation I am flying across continents to attend the second Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD2) held at Punta Del Este Uruguay.After flying for 19 hours transiting at two international airports (South Africa & Brazil), I arrived at my hotel at about 3.10am on the 25th of October 2012 having left Nigeria at 10pm on the 24th.It was my first time flying and I must say it was quite an experience. Dealings with the check-ins, immigration, and the Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency at the Nigeria end of the trip was hmmm… let me leave that for a separate blog post and for now let’s focus on what I enjoyed from the conference.As part of the Social Reporter Team for the conference, I enjoyed 2 day training with other young people from all over. It was a magical team, the spirit was high, the team work was fantastic and it felt like we had it all planned before the event. As we moved from session to session during the conference, keeping up with the pace we spread the message to all who didn’t have the opportunity to be there in person and give our views of proceedings through our blogs and articles.It became clearer how better the world can be for us and the future generation if we had dedicated , passionate and objective young people who had good intentions to be hands of change working together whether in person or virtually.Day and night we worked hard to not only give a voice to young people but also to learn and get more exposure to the world that awaits young professionals. You might wonder, was all the work rewarding for me and the other young social reporters. Yes it was, we networked, and we got the opportunity to attend the opening ceremony where we got certified as Social Media geeks with our certificates presented by the Uruguay Minister of Agriculture. What more we had exclusive interviews with the President of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay and the CEO of CGIAR –Frank Rijsberman. So much fun and fulfillment did come along with all the hard work.The conference with its various sessions gave me lot of exposure to the various activities of agricultural based research bodies starting with the likes of CGIAR down to FARA and WECARD. My getting to know about these bodies proved to me that more and more opportunities abound for Young Professionals to get involved in, the role of foresight, partnership and support for rural farmers and family farms in terms of research, innovation and linking them to the market were at the fore of discussions.Another significant part of the conference for me was the YPARD Pre-conference event. Discussing the progress made by YPARD from its inception and it activities to promote young people in agriculture was delightful. More so, we discussed the challenges of youth in ARD and proffered solutions that would be brought before stakeholders at the event.Realizing that all over the world, it is a known fact that youths have a key role to play if given the opportunity and the appropriate platform was a source of hope and a better future to anticipate. We can and would be hands of change to transform the world for better.Many thanks to YPARD for this beautiful opportunity as they not only built strong partnership with organizing bodies in order to ensure youth sponsorship and participation to GCARD2 but also selected the outstanding group of Young Professionals present and cared for us all the way to the last minutes when we arrived back at our various homes and countries.So what are you waiting for signing up now on www.ypard.net. Are you already a member? Then get more active in the YPARD activities and you just might be the next YP to represent us in another event of interest and global significance.