In the beginning of June, I went to Azerbaijan on a 3-day trip in which my main goal was to promote YPARD among students as well as to do some networking for future possible collaborations.
The first day, I met the rector of Azerbaijan State Agricultural University, Prof. Ibrahim Jafarov. After having introduced myself as YPARD Azerbaijan representative, I provided him with some information about what YPARD consists of as well as its objectives and actions.
Moreover, we talked about the main issues concerning youth participation in agricultural development in Azerbaijan. Prof. Ibrahim Jafarov stressed as the main problem of the sector the lack of interest that young people show towards farming. However, he felt optimist towards the future because even though youngsters consider agriculture in Azerbaijan as a not well developed and non-well paid sector, there are still some undergraduates interested in its development.
After our discussion, I had the opportunity to be guided through the different departments of the university, as well as through its laboratories and library study. Due to the modern equipment that has been bought recently, I can tell there is a huge investment behind this centre.
The second day, the rector organized a meeting with the bachelor students as well as with different PhD students, where I had the chance to spread the word about YPARD platform, the opportunities that it offers and the way to join our community. Moreover, even if I went during the exams period, I had the occasion to know some student representatives from whom I got contacts of young people who would be interested in joining YPARD.
The 3rd and last day, I went to the Agrarian Science Center, Ministry of Agriculture, where I had a meeting with the Institute’s director, Asad Musayev. Afterwards, I was introduced to the organization’s representative, who will send me soon the contact list of young scientists in agriculture’s field in Azerbaijan.
On the whole, Azerbaijan’s trip was very successful as I had the possibility to get to know many people who would like to develop their careers within the farming sector. Hence, I believe YPARD will be thriving in the country in attracting youth to agricultural development.