Agriculture: My Passion
If you asked kids where their food comes from, most of them will say “the supermarket”. However, I grew up in family with a long history in agriculture. My parents and grandparents, who are still engaged in both subsistence and commercial farming, introduced me to this art and science of survival since my childhood.
Nepalese agriculture is bestowed with tremendous potential in terms of climatic niches and biodiversity. But the paradox is that we have not yet been able to harness the potential. Various factors hinder agricultural productivity including high level of damages that are caused by soil erosion, poor soil nutrient management, lack of advance technologies, etc. Realizing this fact, my interest diverted towards sustainable soil management.
Out of my own volition, at initial stage, I gained profound knowledge on soil sampling and diagnosed soil horizons from these two major activities;
first– “3 days Soil Testing Campaign” – As Program Coordinator in Chitwan district and
second– Volunteered for 10 days in “National Land Resource Use Survey” in Nawalparasi district, Nepal in 2012.
I hold a BS in Agriculture (Soil Science) from Tribhuvan University, Nepal, and MS Environmental Sciences (Soil Science) from Lincoln University of Missouri, United States.
YPARD: My Journey
In 2012, I had the opportunity to meet representatives of the Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD) during the Second Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD2). Hearing about their aims and objectives, I immediately decided to join them as I appreciated their efforts to link young agricultural professionals together, provide information, show the many opportunities existing in agricultural development, share the success stories of young role models and encourage young people to become more involved in agriculture.
I started to work as Nepal representative, and focused my activities to promote agriculture among youths in different Nepalese universities through series of workshops, seminars and awareness programs. YPARD Nepal Family Farming Photo Contest in 2014 and National Youth Forum on Agro-based Entrepreneurship Development in 2015 were our greatest achievements. Currently, we have a very effective working team, and most of events are online and web-based well documented which provides more visibility.
Education: Youth in Landscape Initiative
People of my generation are not interested in farming which is perceived as unglamorous and without much profit. For me, it is very important to radically change both primary and secondary methods of teaching and to improve the standard of university education so that we encourage our bright kids to stay here and identify or develop innovative ideas which can make farming more attractive by considering most suitable integrated landscape management.
At Youth in Landscapes initiative under Education theme, I will be presenting the concept Soil Science Academy in Nepal, a networking and capacity building process on attracting the youth to the agriculture landscape by following sustainable soil management practices. The concept is proposed for interested youth through intensive training and workshop. I have related knowledge and experience to train interested youths in groups , as a trainer of academy in Nepal, and for implementation, YPARD Nepal will collaborate with related stakeholders.
I believe that soil is not only for agricultural production, but it also affects environmental quality and is also vital in protection of human health and the environment. We, the young professionals, from diverse fields and stakeholder groups like, environmental science, agricultural science and social science, etc. are going to gather in Paris with experts to discuss related landscapes challenges. It will be helpful to build understanding that embraces a collaborative learning approach to advancing innovations.
Email: email@example.com, @dineshpanday
Dinesh Panday is one of the 10 young champions who will work on the “Education” Landscape challenge with Youth program’s partner: Landscapes for People, Food and Nature , Wageningen UR , EcoAgriculture Partners , World AgroForestry Center .
Learn more about the Global Landscapes Forum’s Youth program, meet our 50 youth champions and discover the 5 Landscapes challenges they will take up, in December, in Paris.