07 August 2013

In preparation for International Youth Day 2013, August 12th

As the leader of the team that supports the e-Agriculture Community, I think International Youth Day is critically important in the context of agriculture, and in particular when we think about ICT and agriculture. This year's theme (2013) is focused on migration issues, which is not a clean fit with our interest in ICT and agriculture. However, there are linkages and we have again collaborated with YPARD, IFAD, and the ARDYIS project from CTA. At the very least we provide an opportunity for young people to express themselves, and hopefully we will be providing a forum for talented young people to hone their ideas and gain recognition.

In looking forward to this year's event, I reviewed last year's activities and found an article that I published on the e-Agriculture site. I think it is worth revisiting, as I stand by the points made.

What do you think?

(Originally published in 2012 in e-Agriculture news here.)

Young people play a critical role in agriculture. Not only are they the future of agriculture, but they bring new perspectives and ideas today. Young people are also more inclined to be comfortable with new information and communication technologies (ICT). For these reasons, as the leader of the e-Agriculture Team I think it is important that we recognize International Youth Day along with our colleagues at the ARDYIS network, GYIN, YPLD, ‘This is my story…’ and YPARD. Read the Youth Day communiqué from YPARD here.

We know that in agriculture, forestry and fisheries ICT has an important role in disseminating technologies, improving agricultural practices, linking people, and enhancing the livelihoods of agricultural communities. This is the reason the e-Agriculture Community exists! We also know that ICT has a special role in its ability to interest youth in agriculture*, so we cannot think of ICT and agriculture without thinking of youth.

As part of our desire to bring youth, agriculture and ICT together, the e-Agriculture Community works with young volunteers and interns. It is my personal belief and professional responsibility to mentor and support these people. These young people bring enthusiasm, fresh perspective and technical knowledge to the community, while learning about development and ICT, and expanding their professional networks. We have a great team at the moment. I encourage you to learn more about them on the Team page, and interact with them through Andrea and Carlo's new blog.

International Youth day 2012 is on August 12th. To learn more about activities that are part of this event, go here.

* See for example point 7 on page 4 of the FAO report:  http://www.fao.org/docrep/016/ap097e/ap097e00.pdf

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