Article sponsored by Contributed by Bayer Cropscience Young agriculture leaders from across the world have created the Canberra Youth Ag-Declaration, a global call for action to help solve the pressing issues facing modern agriculture and food security. _MG_0105 copy The Canberra Youth Ag-Declaration will be presented at the United Nation’s Committee on World Food Security in Rome in October by Australian delegate and Murdoch University honours student, Laura Grubb and Kenyan delegate, Samba Ouma Zablon, Bachelor of Commerce student and initiator of the Kenyan-based Uwezo Youth Development Program. From 24-27 August in Canberra, Bayer and the Future Farmers Network brought together 100 young thought leaders, aged 18-25, from 33 nations for the Youth-Ag Summit to discuss the role science and modern agriculture play in feeding a hungry planet. Delegates voted on their priority themes all week to form the basis of the Declaration with education, communication, responsible and sustainable consumption, innovation and personal leadership selected as the highest priorities for the delegates during the week. The themes of the Declaration are underpinned by solutions and actions, with delegates assigned specifics roles to motivate industry change. These solutions include:

  • Develop a fair and open multi-channel platform for formal and informal educators in the agricultural industry to build greater skills
  • Globally promote and enhance the image of farmers and the breadth of opportunities in the agricultural industry
  • Enhance socially acceptable and responsible consumption through better education and utilization of current resources
  • Create a global network that links young innovators to agricultural needs to drive information sharing, funding and solutions
  • Develop a global youth platform to build a movement and develop youth leaders through mentorship and education via youth groups
The actions – which include, for example, the launch of a global agriculture awareness day – will be finalised in the coming weeks and presented to the United Nations in October. Tobias Marchand, Chairman and Managing Director, Bayer Australia and New Zealand said the Declaration showcased the potential of youth in solving tomorrow’s biggest challenges. Dan Walker CSIRO “Today’s youth have the potential to solve local and global food challenges and the declaration provides a clear path for industry change. The Youth Ag-Summit in Canberra has focused on capturing the ideas of young leaders and I believe this declaration will be significant step in feeding a hungry planet.” Scarborough (Western Australia) resident Laura Grubb, one of the Australian delegates in attendance this week, said the opportunity to present to the UN is significant and she believes it is rare for a conference to have such a strong outcome. “It’s a huge opportunity; normally at conferences the information and ideas shared stay within the body of people that attended, but we have a unique opportunity to spread this around the globe to both developed and developing countries, across a range of different ecosystems, production systems, and cultures. That means we can really put the goals we’ve developed at this conference into practice and make a difference,” Laura said. During the Summit, delegates were challenged to individually develop “3 Little Things” which will see them set goals to make a difference in their home countries . As Samba Ouma Zablon from Kenya looks back on his week spent at the Youth Ag-Summit, it’s clear the discussion and knowledge transfer has had a big impact, particularly the concept of “3 Little Things”. “My number one priority is to keep the conversation going, especially on social media because that’s where most of the young people are, that’s where we can tap the potential. “My second priority would be to use the next four Saturday’s after the Summit, because I happen to work in a youth group in Mombasa in Kenya, to use the foresight of this to teach them, to share with them what I learnt so that I can also empower them. “Finally, I want to work closely with the other delegate from Kenya and my country mentor, to ensure that we come up with one very awesome initiative that will bring the entire nation on-board,” Samba concludes. The delegates will stay connected through the Youth Ag-Network, an exclusive online platform to help these young leaders connect, support and continue learning from each other. About the Youth Ag-Summit The Youth Ag-Summit is a global youth conference to inspire and connect the next generation of young leaders in agriculture and related disciplines. At the Summit, 100   young leaders aged 18 to 25 from all around the world will meet to share perspectives and create an open dialogue on one of the world’s most challenging questions: how to feed a hungry planet? The Youth Ag-Summit forms part of the Agricultural Education Program and aims at raising awareness for food and farming all over the globe. Find more information about the summit on the website About Future Farmers Network Future Farmers Network (FFN) is Australia’s only national youth agricultural network that connects and supports young Australians involved in rural industries. Operating since 2002, FFN connects youth involved in all facets of agriculture and provides members with access to the latest news, events, scholarships, awards and information from across all aspects of the Australian agricultural sector. To learn more about FFN visit: About Bayer CropScience Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience, the subgroup of Bayer AG responsible for the agricultural business, has annual sales of EUR 9,494 million (2014) and is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of seeds, crop protection and non-agricultural pest control. The company offers an outstanding range of products including high value seeds, innovative crop protection solutions based on chemical and biological modes of action as well as an extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture. In the area of non-agricultural applications, Bayer CropScience has a broad portfolio of products and services to control pests from home and garden to forestry applications. The company has a global workforce of 23,100 and is represented in more than 120 countries.