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Way forward: working with committed youth in Central Asia and the Caucasus, in agricultural research for development

CACAARI Regional Brainstorming meeting Tashkent, Uzbekistan, November 29-30, 2011 YPARD attended the Central Asia and the Caucasus Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (CACAARI) meeting to discuss further engagement of youth in the region and particularly within CACAARI’s regional plan.   The CACAARI region covers the countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Tajikistan Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Representatives of these regions were eager to hear about YPARD and ways that youth in their region could engage with the network.  Many of those in attendance shared their concern over the decreasing interest by young people in their countries to engage in agriculture.  It is increasingly interesting to hear this same concern being voiced by individuals from so many different countries and regions, worldwide.  Discussions with some young scientists from the region led to some interesting insight.  They claim that the lack of interest among young people is because of the lack of technological advancement in the agricultural sector.  They say that it is not agriculture, per se, that the young people are turning away from, but they are only moving towards sectors who have made greater technological advancements.    YPARD would like to work with some committed youth in the region to raise awareness on the issues of concern to youth and discuss ways of engaging them more fully in debates and discussions on agricultural research for development in the Central Asia and Caucasus region.   The outcomes from the formal meeting included the commitment to implement the following activities: 1. Implementing the initial phase of the Regional Strategy; 2. Further the capacity of learning and strengthening of Agrarian Innovation Systems; 3. Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology ASTI; 4. Capacity building for strengthening the system of the extension; 5. Exchange of experience with Eastern European countries to transform the system of agricultural research and innovation, consulting services, as well as the system of agriculture; 6. Discussions on adaptation to climate change (World Meteorological Organization WMO), as well as food security IFRPI; 7. Discussion of issues to increase the investment attractiveness of the system of agricultural research and innovation, as well as issues of intellectual property rights in agriculture; 8. Conducting thematic discussions, considered at the Regional Meeting - brainstorm (biotechnology, of biodiversity, transboundary diseases - yellow rust, etc.).