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Supporting Young Agricultural Talents in China

Group photo YPARD meeting with Narada FoundationRecently, a group of Chinese young talents in the agriculture field attended a sharing meeting held at FAO headquarters in Rome, where YPARD Global Coordination Unit is based. All these young people are funded by the Ginkgo Fellowship, which is a scholarship program launched by Narada Foundation in China.

While Marina Cherbonnier, YPARD web and communications manager hosted the meeting, Bi Jieying, YPARD China representative took part in it via Skype from Beijing.

Ginkgo Fellowship pays its eligible candidates 100,000 RMB annually for a three-year period with the purpose of supporting young talents in serving the public good. It also offers international exchange opportunities once or twice a year.

During the past five years, more than 60 people have benefited from this fellowship, most of whom are leaders of grassroots institutions and NGOs. The fellows who attended the meeting with YPARD in Rome are all heads of public welfare projects related to agriculture and rural people’s livelihood.

During the meeting, participants shared their own interesting and thought-provoking experiences in agriculture. For instance, one attendee has established cooperatives in rural areas to make it easier for farmers to sell their organic products in the cities.

Another attendee’s project focused on agricultural ecosystem protection in Northwest China. He and his team are committed to promote a new type of crop which can survive in underground water - an excellent solution for countering the effects of desertification on farming. Some other attendees have also creatively initiated a “young mothers” workshop, as a way to encourage young women in rural areas to use their skills to make a living.

After the sharing section experience, Marina introduced YPARD to all the ginkgo fellows from China. Then, Bi gave specific details about YPARD China. Participants showed great interest during the introduction process, and this was followed by a Q&A session in which the two YPARD members and Chinese attendees engaged in extensive discussions.

As a way to support ginkgo fellows in their agricultural undertakings for the public good, Marina proposed that YPARD could act as a wonderful cooperation platform to increase the visibility of their current efforts and encourage more young people to get involved.

YPARD website has abundant information and opportunities for young professionals devoted to agriculture. Moreover, it can act as a channel for reflecting the true thoughts of people in rural areas about policy making.

YPARD China is always ready to help out young talents who want to contribute with their part to agricultural development in the country. As it is based in the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), the top agricultural academy in China, it has access to experts and resources in various areas of agriculture.

That’s why Bi suggested the option of using YPARD China as a great connector to young agricultural professionals for the Chinese attendees.

At the end of the meeting, the Chinese attendees promised further communication and information sharing in the future. YPARD welcomes cooperation with stakeholders from all parts of the world!