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Young and Motivated: Young Professionals in Agricultural Development

Rebeca Souza shares her experience as representative of the Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD) network in Brazil. (shutterstock)Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD) is a global network of young people who work directly or indirectly in the fields of agriculture and development. They collaborate through a global collective platform to contribute to innovative and sustainable agricultural development. Their work consists in sharing knowledge and information, participating to thematic meetings and debates, promoting agriculture among young people, and organizing workshops and trainings for local YPARD members.

Food Tank interviewed Rebeca Souza, a YPARD representative in Brazil.

Food Tank (FT): How did you become a representative for YPARD?

Rebeca Souza (RS): Last year, I was doing an internship at the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Three other interns and I decided to organize an event calling on young professionals to share innovative ideas to overcome world hunger and malnutrition. YPARD was one of our partners, and Courtney Paisley, the director, was attending our event. I came to her asking if I could be a country representative in Brazil since no one was appointed to this position yet. And she said “yes.”

FT: How many people joined YPARD in Brazil? What interactions do you have with one another?

RS: There are 41 members so far. This is because YPARD Brazil has only been in existence for one year. In comparison, Nigeria and India have respectively 661 and 734 members. They are the biggest YPARD communities. In Brazil, we are a team of four people to animate the network and we work mainly with social media. We use Facebook, for example, to promote YPARD among young people. We also propose to our members to write blog posts for the website, or to represent YPARD during events in Brazil.

FT: What trends can you identify regarding agricultural development in Brazil?

RS: What I see is that a lot of people migrated from rural to urban areas. Brazil has become mainly an urban country (almost 85 percent of the Brazilian population live in urban areas according to 2010 National Census). As a result, young people tend not to be interested in agriculture.

Women become more involved in agriculture and there is good progress in gender equality, yet the gap between men and women remains high.

Click here to read the full original article written by Nicolas Giroux, Research and Communications Contributor on Food Tank: The Food Think Tank.