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Welcoming YPARD Jamaica Representative: Jhannel Tomlinson

We are delighted to welcome our very first YPARD Country representative for Jamaica:  Jhannel Tomlinson

Jhannel Tomlinson is a 24 year old MPhil/PhD candidate in the Department of Geography and Geology at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica, whose research interests include climate smart agriculture, innovation adoption, rural livelihoods and adaptation.She is currently a Commonwealth Youth correspondent involved in numerous groups including the Caribbean Youth Environmental Network (CYEN-Jamaica), the Jamaica Geographical Society, the Climate Smart Agriculture Youth Network (CSAYN) and the Bamboo Research Project Management Committee (Bureau of Standards, Jamaica).

As a young academic, she has realised that across the Jamaican agricultural landscape, a host of challenges exist, highlighting the multiple extents of exposure that farmers encounter.  These challenges have hindered the participation of the youth in agriculture as they consider these challenges as “too difficult to overcome”. Platforms such as YPARD however exist to highlight opportunities and produce information that could prove useful in reducing these challenges . As such, she intends to utilise this channel to facilitate dialogue among the youth and agricultural practitioners to foster communication and collaboration. This will provide useful insights and facilitate knowledge exchange and diffusion of best practices.

So, how will Jhannel spearhead this?

"I had been thinking for quite some time, as to whether I could assume the role as the YPARD representative for Jamaica. Now that this thought has been realised, I intend to work with other young and talented professionals to showcase the true potential of Agriculture and Rural Development in our country. The voice of the youth is critical in facilitating development and this avenue will provide a valuable opportunity for our concerns to be heard

To garner interest, flyers and posters highlighting YPARD and its objectives will be placed across the campus to solicit the attention of students. Facebook and twitter will also be used as social media outlets and existing youth organisations will also be used to mobilise members.As climate change emerges as our biggest challenge, improving awareness through social learning must take precedence and as the youth we should and we must advocate for change."

We can’t wait to hear more from the Youth-in-Agriculture in Jamaica as we trust that YPARD Jamaica will be successful in mobilizing the youth through Jhannel's leadership.

Welcome on board Jhannel Tomlinson.

If you are from or based in Jamaica, and want to get involved in YPARD Jamaica activities, please contact Jhannel Tomlinson at ypard.jamaica@gmail.com