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Hello Agvocate,
It’s already been a year since the 2017 Youth Ag Summit brought together delegates from 49 countries to Brussels, where they developed concrete ideas for feeding a hungry planet. How time flies! To mark this anniversary, we’re looking at what our agvocates have been up to in the last twelve months, including the Agrikua project team, who recently travelled to the United Nations Committee on Food Security to champion the role of youth in food policy-making. 

We’re also looking ahead to the 2019 edition of the Youth Ag Summit taking place in Brasilia, Brazil. Applications are now OPEN! If you’re aged 18-25 and passionate about food security, we want to hear from you – it’s time to #PlantYourPath to Zero Hunger! Want to know more? Simon Pampena has the details in the video below.
Apply now
Last month, YAS 2017 alumni and Agrikua co-founders Cassie Hayward, Sophie Healy-Thow, Juan Pablo Casadiego, Apoorva Shankar, Diana Pamela Rico, Kamau Lindhardt, Risper Njagi, and Ritchie Save Raphael headed to Rome, Italy, for the 45th United Nations Committee on Food Security. Their mission? To demonstrate that the time has come to include youth in food policy decision-making.
To kick-off the week, Cassie delivered a rousing speech to over 200 diplomats, policymakers, NGOs and business leaders, challenging them to engage meaningfully with young leaders. Networking opportunities led to meetings with the Canadian and Dutch Ambassadors, as well as coverage from media outlets Daily ThanthiThe HinduEl Pais, and CBC.

Ritchie and Apoorva spoke at a Bayer-sponsored panel discussion about “Challenges and Opportunities for Youth in Agriculture: Perspectives from Future Leaders”, which attracted more than 50 participants – you can watch a recording of the discussion here. Most importantly, the team had a chance to progress with plans for rolling out the Agrikua platform in Kenya. Plenty of hard work was done and we can’t wait to see where things go next! 
Shaping the future of farming
2017 YAS alumni took on a central role at the recent Bayer Future of Farming Dialogue. Kamau Lindhardt, Maurizio Chiurazzi, Luke Bloomfield, and Florine Kremer took part in a panel discussion about what the next generation brings to agriculture, while Shafinaz Hossain delivered a keynote speech to launch the next YAS application process. Thanks to all for your ongoing agvocacy! 
Taking a tour of agriculture
Luca Steel, a YAS 2017 alumna from the United Kingdom, has just completed a tour of three world-class research institutes as part of her campaign to raise awareness of plant science and the range of careers available in agriculture. Catch up on her journey via #LucaOnTour or learn more about her adventure here.
Farming with conviction anywhere
Farming might conjure up images of vast fields, but that’s wishful thinking in an era of dwindling resources. YAS 2017 alumna and food engineer Diana Pamela Rico thinks it’s time to get creative when it comes to space for agriculture – using walls, balconies or roofs. Check out her thoughts on urban and vertical farming here.
Words of wisdom from Brazil
YAS might be headed to Brazil next year, but some of our alumni already call it home. One of them is 2017 delegate Letícia Marques, a biotechnology graduate working towards on her #3LittleThings by promoting healthy eating and social integration through exposure to farming. Learn more about her progress here.
Banking on youth
2017 alumnus Fajar Sidik Abdullah Kelana recently attended the IMF and World Bank Group Meeting in Bali, Indonesia, where he spoke at events on Youth Engagement for Financing the Future of Development and Making the SDGs Everyone’s Business. Congratulations Fajar! 
Snacking on a new species
In an interview with the New Zealand Herald, YAS alumnus Luke Blomfield spoke about the financial and environmental benefits of entomophagy – that’s eating insects. His advice for adventure-seekers? Try a deep-fried scorpion.
  • Technology is transforming every sector of society and agriculture is no exception. In this blog post, Bayer’s Liam Condon explains how farms of all sizes are adopting digital technologies to protect their crops and livelihoods, and to connect all of us more closely to the land. 
  • The Guardian has taken a look at the benefits of entomophagy for tackling climate change, while The New York Times has conjured up three gourmet insect-based meals. Let us know if you give them a try… 
  • How can farmers adapt to climate change? Thomson Reuters looks at how different agricultural communities around the world, from Sicily to Tanzania, are innovating to secure the future of farming in a rapidly changing world. 
  • Smallholder farmers hold the key to a sustainable future food supply. But to support them, we must remember there is no one-size-fits-all solution, notes this World Economic Forum blog post
  • If you’re proud of your region’s heritage, you should celebrate it! That’s what the city of A Coruña in Gailicia, Spain, has done. By replacing a traditional crosswalk with a “cow-walk” representing the distinctive pattern of a cow’s hide, they want to remind people of the region’s dairy farming heritage. El Pais has the full story. 
Don’t forget to spread the word about Youth Ag Summit 2019 in Brazil! We’ve even created a postcard generator to help you out, so why not share it on social media? Tell your friends, tell your family, tell everyone you know – together we can plant a path to Zero Hunger!
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