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Youth Ag-Summit’s 3rd essay’s aim to tackle feeding growing population
Wednesday, 11 October, 2017, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Brussels
The third essay of the Youth Ag-Summit kicked off in Brussels, Belgium recently. The meet, which conclude on October 13, 2017, witnessed 100 bright young talents from across the globe to tackle one of humanity’s biggest challenges: how to feed a growing population in a more sustainable manner.

Organised by Bayer, together with the two Belgian young farmers’ associations Groene Kring (GK) and Fédération des Jeunes Agriculteurs (FJA), the objective of the summit is to address the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of ending hunger, achieving food security and promoting sustainable agriculture.

During the summit, the delegates, who will represent 49 countries (Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Nepal, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe) and be aged between 18 and 25 – will work together to generate innovative, sustainable and actionable solutions to global food security challenges.

Their mission is to come up with concrete new ideas which can drive agricultural progress across the globe and be put into practice back home.

“For the UN SDGs to be reached, everyone needs to do their part. By inspiring our youth to advocate for science and sustainable agriculture, we hope to tap into the creativity of great young minds to help solve a major societal challenge,” said Liam Condon, member, Board of Management, Bayer AG, and president of its Crop Science Division.

“The Youth Ag-Summit is always a hotbed of enthusiasm, creative thinking and innovation. I look forward to seeing what projects will emerge this year,” he added.

This year, the Youth Ag-Summit delegates will hear from such speakers as Louise O Fresco, president, Wageningen University and Research; Caleb Harper, director, Open Agriculture (OpenAG) initiative, MIT Media Lab, and Hugh Evans, chief executive officer, Global Citizen.

Besides attending talks designed to spark their creativity, delegates will have the opportunity to tour the European Union (EU) institutions and meet with European policymakers, visit one of Bayer’s innovative sustainable farming sites and gain real-world insights into sustainability in action from companies and organisations such as Rabobank, CropTrust, Thought for Food, BioBest, International Society for Horticultural Science, VIB – Flemish Institute for Biotech, Inagro, University Ghent and Ahold Delhaize Group.

Speaking about the partnership with Bayer, Giel Boey, national chairman, Groene Kring, said, “We are very pleased to co-host this event, which gives young people the chance to collaborate and act on solutions for sustainable agriculture – rather than just thinking, they will be doing.”

“We need to restore the connection between those who produce our food and those who consume it. We’re proud to be this year’s co-host and are certain that the delegates’ work will have a positive impact in their communities and beyond,” said Guillaume Van Binst, secretary general, FJA.

Throughout the week, delegates will work to develop Thrive for Change Projects, concrete ideas to help achieve the UN SDGs in their communities and countries.

Following a pitch process, the three strongest ideas will be selected for future funding and development by Bayer.
 
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