One hundred delegates from more than 40 different countries have been selected to make up Bayer’s 2021 Youth Ag Summit cohort this November. The global forum and biennially organized conference selected young leaders between the ages of 18 and 25 with a passion for sustainable global agriculture for the opportunity to learn and collaborate with others on solutions to issues challenging food security.
This year’s delegates come from more than 2,000 applicants representing nearly 100 countries. To be selected, this year’s delegates presented project ideas and examples of previous advocacy work based on the summit’s overall theme “Feeding a Hungry Planet.” Monserrath Martinez from Mexico, for example, told of her work with a biodegradable device made from food waste which allows food production in urban areas. She hopes her experience inspires fellow delegates while working during the summit on other sustainability solutions.
“I’m convinced it is time for our generation to get into action and change how these systems work, using our skills and knowledge to make agriculture more efficient and sustainable,” Martinez said. “I want to be part of a passionate network of people willing to change the way agriculture works and find new paths for everyone’s well-being.”
This year’s 5th biennial Youth Ag Summit will be the company’s first virtual YAS event and its first with a virtual idea incubator called YAS University. Within the YAS University program, delegates will continue to develop their business and communications skills, receive coaching from mentors, and complete weekly assignments that help them hone their own project concepts for 10 weeks following the summit, beginning in January 2022. At the end of YAS University, the delegates will have the opportunity to pitch their project ideas to a panel of experts to compete for prizes. Bayer’s partnerships for this year’s forum with the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the tech company Babele make the unique experience of YAS University possible.
“This is an opportunity to empower the next generation of agricultural change-makers,” said conservation student and grower Ndavisabye Rukundo Christian from Rwanda. “I am a farmer in the village where I live, and agriculture is my passion. This summit fits completely with my goal of doing sustainable agriculture by conserving the environment as well.”