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Talent development in agriculture: A call to action

Nuffield Farming Scholarships is an international programme that gave me the experience of a lifetime, taking me to Brazil, USA and Argentina to interview farmers about their production methods including GM crops and other ‘of the moment’ technologies. This week, it is one of the fantastic case studies to be submitted to the UN’s Committee on World Food Security in Rome, as part of an effort to promote ‘talent development’ and farming and the upscaling of the agricultural work force.

Nuffield Farming Scholarships has joined a number of global actors including the IAFN, YPARD and GFRAS to spearhead a worldwide “Call to Action” that asks governments to promote and foster talent development, knowledge dissemination, and skill enhancement in the agricultural sector. The five-point ‘Call’ was jointly drafted by businesses, youth organizations, academia, and agricultural knowledge & extension bodies, and has been circulated to the member countries of the UN’s Committee on World Food Security (CFS).

The five key points of the Call ask development actors to:
1. Create an enabling environment and incentives for private sector engagement in talent development to improve linkages between supply and demand of knowledge and skills;
2. Promote demand-driven and innovative agriculture education, training, and skills development programmes geared towards transformation and maintaining high performance culture at all levels;
3. Recruit and retain youth and women in agriculture through incentives and the promotion of conducive environments for equitable access to secure land tenure, inputs, financial services, knowledge, and markets;
4. Develop national agricultural plans and resource mobilisation strategies to enhance talent development in agriculture, food, and natural resources while including women and youth in the process;
5. Develop monitoring, learning, evaluation, and knowledge management systems for talent development
These measures will help to set agriculture on the path to a brighter future, for the sector and for the entire globe.

Katy Lee

Katy's affinity to agriculture has been reflected throughout her career in representing farmers' voices in EU and beyond. Having served as Assistant Director for the UK's National Farmers Union, she has worked extensively on key issues related to environment, trade and agriculture. Katy has a proven track record in influencing policy and stakeholder relationship management, both within the EU and in other multilateral negotiations. She is also a Nuffield Scholar and has traveled extensively investigating farm policy in the USA, Argentina and Brazil. Her work is aided by her fluency in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French.

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