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Youth Agripreneurs Project

Sowing the seed for a brighter future: The world’s agricultural sector is facing multiple challenges, including everything from climate change to poor motivation among youth to take up agriculture as a career.

As a result, food insecurity persists around the globe and is likely to lead to severe food crises unless we stand up to these challenges. But what can be done to tackle them?

Hectic yet reflective! The pilot GFAR-YPARD Young Agripreneur Project is coming to an end and in these posts, the six young agri-preneurs are pondering on their professional and personal journeys over the past twelve months.

In April 2016, they all gathered in Johannesburg, where they thrilled the audiences at GCARD3 with their enthusiasm, drive and energy in describing their YAP projects.Now they are looking back at what the past year has brought them, what challenges they had to deal with, and what the the mentoring, coaching and training that came along with the seed funding through YAP, has meant for them as businesspeople and as individuals. They are also wondering what the future holds for them. It is inspiring to read how motivated they are, and how a small project has made a major difference in the lives not only of these selected agri-preneurs but in the communities where they live and work.

Here is the final YAP blog post from Nikki Pilania Chaudhary about her project, “Climate Resilient Indian Cattle”.

YAP: A “disruptive” initiative

A disruptive technology or innovation is one that displaces an established technology or innovation and shakes up the industry.  The Youth Agripreneurs Project, organized by GFARand YPARD, could be called a disruptive initiative in agriculture: it offers young people a full set of tools to launch their innovative small businesses and bring change to their communities. Young people today, even if highly educated and passionate, are discouraged by the high risks and sometimes low returns of investments in the agricultural sector. Many young agriculturists have great ideas for innovative projects that can address some of the difficulties in modern agricultural production, but they will have little chance to implement these because of the associated risks. YAP was designed precisely to provide the support required to enact projects identified as potential gamechangers. The  seed funding along with one year of training, coaching and mentoring by GFAR and YPARD, enabled me and five other young agripreneurs to turn our dreams into reality.

Support in different fields and on different levels

Dairy production in India is in a dire situation because of climate change and disease. My project was designed to address these challenges. Basically, the idea was to develop a cross of exotic Holstein Friesian (HF) and indigenous Gir cows in order to get cattle that not only have good milk yield , but are also climate- and disease-resilient.

Being selected as a YAP finalist made it possible to implement my idea and, in doing so, it has given birth to a project that now looks to expand further.

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