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“Holy” Youth-friendly GCARD2

Setting the sceneBetween 16 and 20 Young people present flesh&bones at GCARD2 YPARD pre-event session.Some of them leave shortly to pop-up in other pre-event sessions related to their field of expertise or regional activities.Many of them are also GCARD2 Social reporting trainees. Laptop in hands, they replace the traditional note-taking to tweeting!So, to this bunch of YPs, add those who are following or taking part actively through Twitter, from wherever in the world…or next door!The number of countries represented is almost equal to the number of participants: from Mauritius to Uruguay, Kenya to Peru, India to Romania, Switzerland to China, Nigeria to France, Nepal to Spain, Costa Rica to Malawi, Uzbekistan to Ecuador etc!Addressing "Youth in ARD" issuesThe objective is simple: raise key messages related to curricula changes, incentives for youth in agriculture and agricultural innovation systems. From there, identify actions we want the World to work on for empowering young professionals for agricultural research for development: who, why, how.Ultimate goal: identifying YPARD’s role in undertaking and implementing these actions.While the very multi-culture groups did gain from the different perspectives of the participants, it was also sometimes a challenge to communicate effectively and reach common and straight forward ideas of forward actions.The outcomes of the discussions and recommendations will be presented at the break-out session on empowering youth and women (C2). Stay in touch!"Why agriculture?"Wrapping-up discussions were particularly exciting: each member was invited to briefly tell his/her background and why they like being involved in agriculture.‘For me agriculture is peaceful” says Nawsheen; “I got aware of the importance of food. Everything alive needs to eat” says Keron. “I like the policy aspect of agriculture” says Codrin. “Agriculture became a passion after my internship” says Olawale. “Agriculture is about people” says Msekiwa…Many of the participants explained that they got started in agriculture by chance. But all of them are now passionate about it!The group of YPARD participants was, in addition, rich of people familiar with YPARD and young people who got to know YPARD recently through GCARD2 youth programmes.Youth, a GCARD2 key stakeholder!Youth’s energy and enthusiasm feels particularly powerful and promising, both in term of social coverage of GCARD2 and Youth participation to the different sessions’ discussions!GCARD2 organizers have bet on Youth’s valuable contribution to GCARD2, by notably welcoming YPARD involvement with the Organizing Committee and by supporting the Youth Social Reporting Programme.While GCARD2 conference has only kicked off some hours ago, the way gone through by the youth group these four last days asserts Young Professionals as integrated stakeholders among “GCARD2 community”.Go, youth, go!