|IICA launches virtual platform to enhance the skills and knowledge of rural youth in the hemisphere|
|The Hemispheric Rural Youth Community provides a platform to share experiences and resources to generate a greater impact on agriculture and food security in the Americas.|
|The initiative is supported by various partners such as i4Nature, the NextGen Ag Impact Network (NGIN) coalition, Bayer, UCreativa, El Zamorano, 4-H and the Alliance for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (AEI) of Ecuador.|
|San Jose, 16 August 2022 (IICA). The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) launched the Hemispheric Rural Youth Community, a virtual platform that will enable youth in the Americas to enhance their role as agents of change to transform the region’s agrifood systems.|
The initiative is supported by various partners such as i4Nature, the NextGen Ag Impact Network (NGIN) coalition, Bayer, UCreativa, El Zamorano, 4-H and the Alliance for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (AEI) of Ecuador.
“This is a key moment for agriculture given that food security is at the forefront of international discussions; how to feed an ever-growing global population and environmental challenges are today’s trending topics. We need youth to lead this coalition and to participate actively in agriculture”, remarked IICA Deputy Director General Lloyd Day.
Available in Spanish and English, the platform features news and opinion articles to enhance the knowledge of rural youth and provides information on scholarship and internship opportunities. It also hosts forums for the sharing of ideas, experiences and opinions among youth of the Americas, and enables users to publish and disseminate project initiatives or undertakings to expand the possibility of implementing them.
It also offers a catalog of agricultural products and services provided by rural youth of the Americas, with a view to fostering agricultural trade and strengthening their entrepreneurial spirit.
“At IICA, we believe that youth are not only the future, but also the present; as drivers of development, we must begin to work together. The Hemispheric Rural Youth Community is a clear manifestation of that vision”, said Priscila Zúñiga, Coordinator of IICA’s Gender and Youth Program.
According to Nele Hermann Valente, President of NGIN and Bayer Crop Science’s global head of engagement with young leaders in agriculture and food systems, “the establishment of this community represents another important step towards raising the voices of youth in this vast, diverse and inspiring region that makes a substantial contribution to feeding the world”.
“At i4Nature, we truly appreciate the fact that youth have designed this community for rurality. This is for youth, by youth, so they know best what is needed, particularly in rural areas. I believe that is the greatest challenge facing rural territories around the world”, said Xander Becks, Executive Director of that organization.
The platform was launched on International Youth Day, during a forum in which youth from all regions of the Americas shared the challenges they face with respect to funding, production costs and climate change, among other topics.