AgTalks: Whassup with Agriculture? Young innovators tell their stories

AgTalks presents the latest thinking, trends and research on policies and innovation in small-scale farming. This session, titled Whassup with Agriculture? Young innovators tell their stories" focuses on how young people are engaging in agriculture, and how more young people can be motivated to do the same.

To achieve zero hunger and no poverty by 2030, the world will need to focus more on agriculture. Although it is the mainstay of many developing economies, agriculture continues to employ mainly older members of the population, while most young people are migrating to urban areas in search of alternative sources of income. The challenge is to productively engage the approximately 88 per cent of the world’s 1.2 billion young people who live in developing countries in agriculture. Ways to do this include making sure young people have an adequate education and acquire enough skills, and providing sufficient access to knowledge and information so that young people can develop agricultural entrepreneurial ventures. A number of initiatives are sprouting up in different countries to harness the great potential of young people and innovation in agriculture to contribute to increasing incomes and food security. 

Speakers

Nawsheen Hosenally is the Co-Founder of Agribusiness TV, the first youth in agribusiness web TV in Africa. Since 2011, Nawsheen has supported the implementation of youth and information and communication technology for agriculture (ICT4Ag) projects in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. In 2015, Nawsheen launched Agribusiness TV, and is currently reaching out to youth in West Africa, providing information to promote agribusiness.

Alpha Sennon describes himself as a “farmerpreneur”. He is the founder of WHYFARM, a non-governmental organization that aims to promote agriculture among children and young people by increasing their awareness of food problems in the world today and training them to feed the future by 2050. Through his advocacy work, Alpha serves as a business mentor for agriculture university students in the Caribbean to develop innovative approaches to feed the estimated global population of 9 billion by 2050. He is also a fellow of the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative.

Josine Macaspac is a young innovator who came up with the idea of the Mechanical Pest Removal System, a low-cost, easy-to-operate machine that helps to kill and remove pests from staple dried produce such as rice, corn, soybean and pulses. Josine is a medical and veterinary entomologist, with a passion for modernizing agriculture and promoting sustainable agricultural practices.

Rahul Antao is a young professional working as a consultant in the field of food and agricultural development. Having graduated in culinary arts and applied nutrition in India, he went on to further his career as a chef. Not long after, he took a keen interest in agriculture – specifically to understand the link from farm to fork. From then on, it seemed more of a joy to learn from farmers and this fascination took him to Italy, where he studied at the University of Gastronomic Sciences. Having worked with Slow Food in Italy, Rahul has spent the better half of the last nine years working with and learning from chefs, producers and farmers, who all seem to possess wisdom that few textbooks can share. All this knowledge has cemented Rahul’s passion for food and agriculture, and led him to explore the world of indigenous people, understanding the linkages of culture, man and ecology.

Social media and webcasting

Participants are encouraged to share their ideas, views and insights via social media channels using #agtalks hashtag.

The virtual audience may follow the proceedings via webcast.