These days, more than ever, we are reminded of the growing need for food security and improved livelihoods in the less developed countries. This is not just a task for those presently at the helm of agricultural research for development (AR4D) endeavors; it will surely also be a priority for many generations to come. As such, it is vital that we don’t think in terms of passing the baton onto the next generation sometime in the future – we need to include young people in every aspect of AR4D from the outset of things.
When experience, knowledge and wisdom meet the different perspectives and fresh ideas that many young people can bring on board, there’s no telling what we can achieve in our efforts to reduce rural poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and health, and sustainably manage our natural resources. Unfortunately, the supply of new young scientists, as well as youth willing to work on farms, is lagging behind demand. If we are to tackle the challenges of tomorrow, it is of paramount importance that we attract talented young men and women into our organizations, and then train and retain them.