This blog series was launched at the end of the International Year of Youth, one of many activities during the last twelve months that mark the beginning of a greater recognition of the need to engage youth in the issues that shape their future. The former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has stated that, "Young people should be at the forefront of global change and innovation. Empowered, they can be key agents for development and peace.” This blog series on youth, ICTs and agriculture, has successfully demonstrated that youth will contribute a unique perspective if given the opportunity.
While there continues to be insufficient participation of young professionals in dialogues addressing critical development issues, the e-Agriculture Team and YPARD remain convinced that an agriculture sector able to meet the world’s needs without depleting its resources will only become a reality if young professionals are actively engaged in shaping the sector’s future.
Over the past three months, bloggers have touched on many topics ranging from climate change to supporting and enhancing mentoring programmes, and in doing so demonstrated the scope and breadth of ways that young professionals engage with ICTs to develop a new and innovative approach to agriculture. ICTs enable new and exciting approaches to solving agricultural problems and are seen by youth as a key tool for enhancing the provision of services in Agricultural Research for Development (ARD) to the ultimate customer – the farmer.
The interest generated in this series also points to ICTs as a vehicle through which young people are attracted to and can find a place within ARD. The younger generation is unafraid of technology and takes a multidisciplinary view towards enhancing agriculture and reducing hunger. Greater integration of ICTs in ARD can help to address the declining interest of youth in ARD, enabling the young generation to provide new innovations for a food secure future.
Equally important is the older generation who can provide an environment to enable the younger generation to flourish in their professions and support them in opportunities to share their experiences and learning with others.
In closing, we would like to thank our group of bloggers, whose enthusiasm and willingness to share their ideas leaves us hopeful for a better future. YPARD and e-Agriculture will be highlighting this collection of writing at upcoming meetings and other face-to-face events, to demonstrate the collective knowledge and dedication of today’s young people involved with agriculture and ICT.
Read all the Youth, Agriculture and ICT blogs HERE.