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One Voice United in Agriculture

IAAS Indonesia following the webcast during the FAO agribiothec symposium I was sitting at the front row during the FAO symposium on “The Role of Agricultural Biotechnologies on Sustainable Food Systems and Nutrition” through webcast while holding my gadget and notebook, carefully listening to the discussions. International Association of Students in Agricultural and Related Sciences (IAAS) — one of YPARD’s partner — was honored to be invited in the student interactive session and had a representative to speak up live at the FAO Headquarters as part of the symposium. That was an awesome moment I had to be in touch directly with FAO although only through the cyberspace. But, thanks to technology to make this happened. The discussions were tremendous and thought-provoking. It provided different perspectives on agricultural biotechnologies to enrich our understanding in biotechnology application to provide foods and its impact to the environment.

This could be a milestone for young people who eager to get their voices heard by the leaders of the world. We are no longer a generation who just spend our school days only for classes. We want to speak up and do something for the world. Thank you to FAO, YPARD and IAAS who have been facilitating that and I hope it will grow throughout time.

As I chose my future career path to feed the world, I took Food Science and Technology as my undergraduate study. Surprisingly, what I obtained there is more than science and knowledge. I got introduced to IAAS and YPARD that allowed me to explore the local and global agriculture better.

Agriculture seems to be an unattractive career path for young people across the globe. Perhaps they can only think of someone wearing dirty clothes, holding a hoe and working all day beneath the sun. Well, they definitely got it wrong. Agriculture is so much more than that with loads of unique opportunities to be embraced. It has played a major role in human history on top of feeding the world and is the largest employer.

However, not everyone can benefit from agriculture. World Bank mentioned that three out of every four poor people in developing countries living in rural areas depend on agriculture for their livelihoods because they have no other choice, leaving them in rural poverty. There is a broken system that needs to be reformed. This is where our opportunities lie. And one of the actions to reach there is by attending the GCARD3 Global Event.

The GCARD3 Global Event is an opportunity for all stakeholders to come together to confirm our commitment to the new sustainable development agenda and to tackle some of the more topical issues emerging in agri-food research and innovation.

With the theme “No One Left Behind: Agri-food Innovation and Research for a Sustainable World”, GCARD3 pledge to take action to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and provide a touchstone for partners across public, private, and civil society sectors in developing their agri-food research and innovations program and activities to 2030.

I got starstruck not by the speakers, but two of the key themes: sustaining the business of farming and ensuring better rural futures. I think I found my call here ever since I was involved in a village empowerment programme in IAAS Local Committee Sebelas Maret University. The farmers who live there told us that they depended a lot on agriculture and they realized agriculture could be profitable, but they just did not know how to do so and thus hoping from us as educated young people to contribute in the agricultural development there.

GCARD3 could be the platform for us to bring back the hope to the farmers in Indonesia. In line with IAAS mission, in GCARD3 the importance of applying grass-root foresight mechanisms to achieve comprehensive rural development and support rural youth and women initiatives will be discussed. Furthermore, having the chance to represent the global youth would be another pivotal moment to gather supports. This will be my foundation to apply the insights that I obtain to help people in my country to escape poverty and reach food sovereignty.

I understand that I cannot do this all alone. I am calling everyone to join me to have a one united voice in ensuring a sustainable life for everyone through the GCARD3 Global Event. Let us roll our sleeves up and not leaving anyone behind.

This blog post is part of the GCARD3 Youth blogpost applications. The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.

Picture courtesy of M. Irvan Herviansyah (IAAS Indonesia)