YPARD Nepal, in support of INGENAES, is announcing a Call for Abstracts for “YPARD Student Research Symposium” on Wednesday, November 8, 2017 in Hotel Shangri-La, Kathmandu, Nepal. It is designed to provide an opportunity for Nepalese undergraduate and graduate students to present their existing and emerging research work among university students and faculty members, researchers, young agri-entrepreneurs. It also encourages students to expand their professional network and leadership skills.
The #YPARDSymposium will feature keynote addresses by nationally and internationally renowned four speakers:
- Dr. Anil Shrestha, Professor of Weed Science at California State University
- Dr. Krishna Kaphle, Associate Professor of Animal Science at Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science, Tribhuvan University
- Dr. Arjun Kumar Shrestha, Associate Professor of Horticulture at Agriculture and Forestry University
- Dr. Shital Kaji Shrestha, Business Head at NIMBUS Krishi Kendra
YPARD Nepal welcomes abstracts from agriculture, livestock/ veterinary, food and nutrition themes. All abstracts must be submitted in English language. Interested individuals or groups are invited to submit an abstract of no more than 250 words for oral or poster presentation mode. Abstracts can be submitted online at https://goo.gl/ZkRgdU.
There are no any costs for abstract submission and registration in #YPARDSymposium. To participate as non-presenter, please contact at email@example.com.
- September 24, 2017: Abstract submission opens
- October 23, 2017: Abstract submission closes
- October 25, 2017: Notification of abstract submission
- October 30, 2017: Registration of accepted abstracts
Details of call for abstracts: http://ypard.net/2017-09-23/call-abstracts-ypard-student-research-symposium-kathmandu-nepal
Agriculture, Biotechnology and Youth
In the 1850’s, Louis Pasteur discovered fermentation process which implicates involvement of microbes, this is called the initiation of biotechnology in soil microbiology. Later when direct extraction and characterization of microbial DNA from environmental sample became possible around time period of 1900’s-2000’s, then the concept of soil has been changing which include not only unconsolidated material present on Earth surface but also ‘dynamic’ natural body.
Soil, water and its biological environment is a critical component of sustainable agriculture. The increasing human population is placing greater pressure on these resources and threatening our ability to produce sufficient food, feed, fiber and fuel. However, the beauty of sustainable agriculture, which takes advantage of traditional agricultural techniques, as well as the most recent technological advances.
The current global trends of young generations are not being integrated in to agriculture and farming, leaving food production in the hands of elderly. But, it is vital that these younger leaders and future decision makers understand the critical role of agricultural science innovation in addressing the world’s most pressing problems. They can be attracted by sharing of promising practices and strategies that can engage agriculture and biotechnology.
Role of Global Communities for Agricultural Biotechnologies
The question arises that how can prepare those young professionals for active roles of leadership and service to address critical needs and ensure the sustainability of agriculture? Broadly, it needs changes or improvement on educational curriculum, global continuum experiences, and diverse set of partners, coordination, collaboration and outreach.
Researchers at agricultural universities are constantly exploring better ways to raise food. There is compelling evidence that modern biotechnology applications such as tissue culture can greatly enhance productivity by generating large quantities of disease-free, clean planting material. Youth with a first degree in agriculture or biological sciences should be encouraged and facilitated to establish such some low-cost tissue-culture business facilities at community level.
The global community (like, YPARD) can impact on understanding the knowledge level of agriculture and biotechnology among the students/ researchers by organizing webinar, seminar through the use of presentations, discussions and hands-on activities. In addition, agriculture needs young professional who have an understanding of international agriculture issues and an enthusiasm for engaging in these issues on a global scale and hence by joining such a global community is always advantage.
Policy needed for Better Inclusion of Agricultural Biotechnologies
Biotechnology companies are investing billions of dollars in consolidations to ensure access to these rapidly growing markets, and in further research and development. However, the world of the rural poor, of small-scale, resource poor subsistence farmers in developing countries are still out of circles from the world of biotechnology. Hence, governments, scientists, non-governmental organizations, donors will have to consider the development of innovative mechanisms for the transfer of biotechnologies in developing country agriculture. At the students (young professionals) level, there is need of education, empowerment and motivation for young people to lead agricultural activities for improved and sustainable food production. It must focus on preparing the next generation scientists by enhancing youth development.
Personal Views of Dinesh Panday, PhD scholar in Soil Fertility at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Call for Abstracts: International Conference on Mountains in the Changing World, 1-2 October, 2016, Nepal
Mountains are a part of global biodiversity repository and play a vital role in maintaining global ecosystems and supporting millions of people. In the mean time they are the most vulnerable to rapid environmental change.
The international conference on “Mountains in the Changing World” (#MoChWo) is organized by the Kathmandu Institute of Applied Sciences in ancient town of Kathmandu from 1-2 October, 2016. It aims to provide a forum for international/national scholars, researchers, policy maker and students with opportunity to share their research findings and knowledge related to various aspects of mountains.
The #MoChWo will focus on a broad range of topics related to mountain ecosystem and sustainable livelihood. The thematic areas are
- Disasters, resilience, and adaptation
- Biodiversity conservation
- Climate change
- Environmental pollution
- Forest management
- Soil, water and atmospheric research
- Agriculture and agro-ecology
- Sustainable livelihood
- Policy for mountain resources and livelihood
Abstracts for the conference can be submitted via its online submission system from 1 April to 15 August 2016. Please click here for details.
All conference participants are required to register. Early bird registration begins on 1 June and ends on 15 August. The regular registration is from 16 August to 20 September. Click here for more information.
Authors will have an opportunity to publish their full research papers in one of these journals: Conservation Science, Environments and Sustainability, and accepted through regular peer review process.
Conference website: http://conference.kias.org.np/
Written by: Dinesh Panday
In some years, the government declares the subsidy on quality seed to ensure food security through increased productivity but in the whole fiscal year there is neither mechanism developed nor execution.
Similarly, with regard to access to credit, the so called Agriculture Development Bank changed its policy to invest in non-agricultural portfolio and some other commercial bank like, Mega Bank which has alternative name for plough to power (to promote small scale business), but speaking truly it’s no more than slogan.
There are several instances of such nature. Weak policy formulation, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and revision system together with inconsistency in agriculture is an important issue which has created frustration among farm families and out migration of youth from rural areas.
Agriculture in Nepal is characterized by low productivity which is mainly due to predominance of traditional farming practices, heavy reliance on weather conditions and poor infrastructure development. Agriculture has been one of the pillars of the development since I was a child. On an average, in spite of two decades of investment, there is only decimal (about 3 percent) progress in Nepalese agriculture.
Government has been developing Agriculture Development Strategy (ADS) to replace Agricultural Perspective Plan (APP) from 2015 with the concept of agricultural transformation, but the transformation process is not getting momentum due to small uneconomic farm size, resource constraints, inadequate infrastructure development, lack of alternative employment opportunities, lack of technical knowledge and business skills among farmers and inadequate policy supports.
In this regard, here I am presenting some of the major ways to transform Nepalese agriculture to achieve much higher productivity, competitiveness, inclusiveness, and sustainability while making it more resilient to climate change impacts, which is also a road map of ADS.
Public Private Partnership
Coordination is one of the widely talked word and terminology in Nepal but it has failed almost all the time. The contribution of the private sector has been grossly overlooked. Hence, there is a need to create conducive environment which promote private sector involvement in agriculture. Moreover, it needs to enhance a favorable environment for a broad and pluralistic participation and resource coordination amongst all potential service providers and beneficiaries in partnership to adapt and modify technologies to best meet its farmer’s requirement. So we need more public and private research to work hand in hand for farmers.
Value Chain Approach
High value-added agricultural products in order to have a high return help to open up new markets, and even build their own brand, and promote farm diversification. Nepal is already member of WTO and other organizations which increases the competition between domestic and foreign products and entrepreneurs to satisfy consumers from their products and services. The association of actors in agribusiness chains helps to realize economies of scale and gain market power of Nepalese agricultural products. This has been observed explicitly in poultry, dairy, tea, cardamom, ginger, and fresh vegetable sectors.
Commercialization and Competitive Advantage
Investment of resources, horizontal and vertical linkages between value chain actors, and policy supports help to commercialize certain sector of agriculture industry. The involvement of farmers and resources invested in these sectors and outputs generated from them provide competitive advantage for import substitution and export promotion. Commercialization of agriculture, being a national goal, has been receiving top priority in policies, plans, and programmes of the government. However, such efforts have been in project mode not in policy shift mode. Such projects which are currently in implementation include Project for Agricultural commercialization and Trade (PACT), High Value Agricultural Project (HVAP), etc.
Our agriculture is heavily dependent on human and animal power which constitutes 78 percent of the total farm power, while mechanical sources contribute only 22 percent, also one of the factors responsible for high cost of production. Agricultural mechanization, which includes improvement of simple farm tools and implements like sickle and hoe to use of power tillers, harvesters, planters and seed drills etc., has become the need of the day where concept of collective farming or block farming could be appropriate to make huge plots. Recently, government officials have developed Contract Farming Guideline focusing on the import of modern farming machinery, including discounts on VAT and other taxes. All of these particularly automation and use of ICTs will also add glamour to farming and attract more youth in agriculture bychanging their perception into an exciting and innovative industry.
Capacity building and Farmer Outreach
The current prevailing simple mechanistic delivery system of training is not enough to support farming. Limited numbers of experts (JTA to officers) are trying hard to teach the huge number of farmers and generate appropriate technology. In the field, one front line extension worker has to look after more than 1300 farm families. More ever, major of our technology transfer materials are outdated and more recent publication are in doner agencies preference language than in Nepali.
There is also need to have better coordination among training providing institutions. Providing agribusiness or entrepreneurship training to remittance recipient households and returnee migrants can play vital role in commercializing agriculture at faster rate. Hence, the government should develop supportive policy for development of human resources to improve farmers’ livelihoods, support resource sustainability, ensure national food security and promote agribusiness and trade.
To conclude that it would not be wrong as Nepal’s agricultural policies are made without their serious engagement which was also stressed in recently held program called ‘Nepal Economic Summit 2014 – Destination Nepal for Investment.’ It is high time for the government of Nepal to look into these issues critically and get the policies implemented properly so that Nepal can once again entrench as an agriculturally self-sufficient country where farmers feel secure and embrace farming as means of business and not merely a way of living.
YPARD Nepal needs your support as COMMENT on blogpost of “YAP Proposal #197: EduMala Mentoring Program (Nepal)” which is aiming to promote agriculture networking, mentoring and entrepreneurship. http://blog.gfar.net/2016/03/07/yap-proposal-197-edumala-mentoring-program-dinesh-panday-nepal/
To make your comment- Click the link, scroll down the post to bottom. Enter your comment, name and email. Then you are done! #GCARD3 #YPARD #Nepal
I am Dinesh Panday, a YPARD member as Nepal representative and Communication officer at YPARD Asia and Pacific Coordination Unit. I am 28 years old and currently pursuing PhD degree in Soil Science at University of Missouri- Columbia, United States.
The YPARD, where I am working, emphasizes the importance of youth to youth empowerment by networking and provides platform for information sharing and dissemination, as well as online and offline meetings and events. YPARD Nepal is a national chapter of YPARD, established in 2012 and currently 45 members are working as a national team including different agricultural development sectors.
We know that education is important, however, there are lots of things missing in education in terms of soft skills (like, interpersonal skills). If a young professional has lack of competency, we cannot think that s/he will be able to deliver right message to targeted audience or how others can be…
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Tech4agri: the web series – A mobile story
How do we make agriculture as exciting as it really is? How can we generate and keep the interest the public on just how important it is? How do we facilitate learning among agriyouth of all kinds while simultaneously supporting them? I may have an answer to these questions.
Introducing Tech4agri, a blog that features technology and innovation in agriculture. We aim to support agripreneurs by providing an interesting and updated information service. Based in Trinidad and Tobago, of the Caribbean region we are looking to make the transition to social enterprise with our main project – Tech4agri: the webseries. So who runs this four year old, award winning blog?
Yours truly! I’m Keron a freelance blogger and agri journalist. My background is in agribusiness however I have forged my own career in journalism and communications. I hold great enthusiasm for…
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1. If you are a professional communicator working within the GFAR network, with CGIAR, any of our partners, or a nonprofit organisation within our area of interest, join our core #GCARD3 communications team. You can contribute at will, or just watch and witness a great project coming to fruition, experimenting and learning as we go along.
2. If you are a social media enthusiast, and want to put your own skills and network to a good use, join our YPARD social media team, the habitat where we will coordinate the online support team.
Are you a professional communicator, or a social media enthusiast? Are you part of the GFAR network (the Global Forum on Agricultural Research) or CGIAR (the global agricultural research partnership), or one of its partners? Are you involved in a nonprofit organisation, institute or university working on any aspect of food security, agriculture, sustainable development, or eco-systems,…? Or a young social media enthusiast willing to put your skills into use for the greater good?
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Soil is essential to life. One reason is that soil protects plant roots, animals, and microbes from freezing in the winter. As air temperatures drop below 32F (0C), water within the top layers of the soil will eventually freeze. This is commonly known as the frost layer. So, while you think that once the ground is frozen, life stops in the soil, that’s very untrue. What’s going on under your feet is exciting stuff!
The soil under your feet is still teeming with life, even in the frozen temperatures of winter.
The frost layer can be several feet deep, though many factors influence how far down it goes. If a lot of snow falls on the ground early in the winter, it can serve as a blanket for the soil underneath. Organic matter plays a role in insulating soil, holding in heat stored below ground during the warmer…
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The GFAR Secretariat is pleased to announce that the Global Event for the Third Global Conference on Agricultural Research and Development (GCARD3) will be hosted by the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) of South Africa, in Ekurhuleni near Johannesburg, from 5 to 8 April 2016.
Enthusiastic about the opportunity, the South African Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Honourable Mr. Senzeni Zokwana remarked that, “it is a fitting tribute to the ARC’s global stature to be awarded the right to host the GCARD3 Global Event. This event is expected to be an inclusive, participatory process and will be an opportunity to shape the future of global agricultural research.”
The Global Event, organized by GFAR and the CGIAR, will follow directly on a series of national and regional consultations carried out through 2015-2016, and will be the third such global conference bringing together hundreds of representatives from across all agriculture sectors with a stake in the future of agri-food research and innovation.
This third GCARD Conference comes at a pivotal time for global agenda-setting on development action, as the Sustainable Development Goals demand a concerted effort to eradicate poverty and hunger by 2030–challenges that can be best met by ensuring sustainable food systems and by increasing investment in agriculture. The Conference will provide a forum for those involved in the GCARD process to further engage and make commitments on working together to make agri-food research and innovation systems stronger, more effective, and more sustainable.
Read the official media release on the GCARD3 Global Event.