Last year, during the preparation of annual programs 2017, YPARD Nepal identified the need of youth’s capacity building activities to focus on recent graduates.
To address this issue, we organized an event - YPARD Student Research Symposium (shortly called and promoted as #YPARDSymposium) on November 8, 2017 at Hotel Shangri-La, Kathmandu, Nepal with the support of INGENEAS. #YPARDSymposium was designed to provide an opportunity for Nepalese undergraduate and graduate students to present their existing and emerging research work among university students and faculty members, researchers, young agripreneurs. It was also aiming to encourage students for the expansion of their professional network and leadership skills.
Starting from the scratch
An informal meeting with INGENEAS team in July 2017 led us to plan for the YPARD Symposium as a side event of INGENEAS Symposium in Nepal. Following this, the official call for abstract submission for the very first #YPARDSymposium was opened on September 24, 2017, along with introducing the invited speakers, scientific committee and the organizing committee. Young professionals’ abstracts focusing on four different themes: agriculture, food, livestock, and nutrition were received. There was no cost for abstract submission and participation.
Within a month of abstract submission notice, we received fifty-seven abstracts for oral and poster presentations. Our scientific committee- Dr. Atul Upadhyay, Dr. Santosh Dhakal, and Mr. Dinesh Panday went through the task of screening the best out of the received abstracts. Finally, nine oral (though 1 presenter could not make it on the final day) and eleven poster presenters were selected and they were notified on October 25, 2017 about their submission results.
On November 8, 2017, the hall of Hotel Shangri-la in Kathmandu was filled with almost fifty participants including presenters/non-presenters, guest speakers, jury members, and organizing team members.
The half day program kicked off formally when our Master of Ceremony- Ms. Asmita Nagila made an announcement and welcomed our guest speakers: Dr. Krishna Kaphle, Associate Professor at Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science (IAAS); Dr. Sital Kaji Shrestha, Senior Manager of NIMBUS Nepal, our jury members: Ms. Deepa Shrestha, Senior Scientist at Gene Bank, Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC); Dr. Govinda K.C, Senior Scientist at Maize Research Division, NARC, and Dr. Atul Upadhyay, Project Manager at Hellen Keller International, all the presenters and participants.
Mr. Deepak Ghimire and Ms. Nikita Bhusal from Organizing team presented about YPARD and YPARD Nepal mentioning their objectives by highlighting the past activities. They also provided the details about the #YPARDSymposium. Our guest speakers then took the stage with their sharing inspiring and stupendous achievements. Dr. Atul Upadhyay presented his research on prospects and challenges on commercializing Nepali medicinal plants. During his presentation, he stressed the importance to promote and commercialize Nepalese native or locally available medicinal herbs. Our next Speaker- Dr. Krishna Kaphle discussed on invasive species prevailing in livestock reproduction. He also reminded his memories with YPARD Nepal and how YPARD’s activities have impressed him to date.
Our last guest Speaker- Dr. Shital Kaji Shrestha shared his experiences on agriculture and entrepreneurship. He flagged the challenges in commercializing agriculture in Nepal. He also presented the different approaches of NIMBUS- linking the farmers to the market. Their presentations inspired all of us.
Afterwards, Ms. Asmita Nagila announced the starting of the session for the oral presentations. The presentations were well articulated that after every presentation, there was an active interaction between presenters, judges and non- presenting participants. After the oral session, there was a poster session started where eleven presenters demonstrated their research activities. Our juries expressed their words that all the presentations and their field of studies were very competitive. At the end of the #YPARDSymposium, Ms. Nikita Bhusal presented the tokens of love to the guest speakers and the juries for their time and support throughout. We also appreciate INGENEAS for being highly supportive in making this event successful.
After a very productive day, the judges presented the results. The evaluation was made based the presenter's performance, research contents and other qualities. Finally, we got our very deserving winners Ms. Shilu Dahal as the Best Oral Presenter and Mr. Santosh Rasaily as the Best Poster Presenter. Our winners were announced and awarded by Ms. Liz Poulsen during INGENAES’s Kick-off reception.
Vote of thanks
It was a usual winter day but with the continuous support of the team, the day was marked as one of the successful event organized by YPARD Nepal. We would like to convey warmest regards to the judges, invited speakers, scientific committee, organizing committee, participants, well-wishers and, the best oral and poster presenters. We would like to acknowledge our Country Representative, Mr. Dinesh Panday for being highly supportive throughout from planning to execution of #YPARDSymposium.
Last but not a least our sincere gratitude to INGEANES team- Ms. Liz Poulsen, Ms. Kabita Devkota for their cooperation, Ms. Lacey Harris and Ms. Katie McNamra for their kind suggestions, and all other participants. We look forward to future symposiums in the coming years.
All the pictures of the #YPARDSymposium are available at YPARD facebook page.
Photo credit: YPARD Nepal