Over a year ago, the 14th IUPAC International Congress of Crop Protection was held in Ghent, Belgium. The Congress launched an innovative program for the next generation of plant protection leaders providing an opportunity to showcase the next generation’s crucial role in the future of agriculture.
Two exciting elements made up the IUPAC Next Generation Programme: The first was the Next Generation Agri Summit (19-23 May 2019). Sponsored by CropLife International, the Agri Summit offered an innovative program developed by and for young agricultural students and researchers interested and engaged in all aspects of crop protection. It ran parallel with the IUPAC International Congress, offering a unique opportunity to engage with world-renowned leaders in plant protection as well as engage in topics specifically wanted by youth.
The second element was the N-GAGE (Next Generation Agricultural Innovators) project that selected 5 promising young agricultural innovators to join the Agri Summit, receive seed funding for their project idea and one-year of mentorship and training opportunities. The year for these 5 champions has now ended. They have written blogs at various points in the year letting us know how they are going. We can see that they have gained experience on being business people, researchers and leaders. There have been twists and turns in their journey – not least of which was adapting their projects to deal with the circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. They all have triumphed and will now go forward with what they have learned and shared from their journey.
From the organizers of the IUPAC Next Generation Program we wish Simon, Ropo, Bruna, Antonette and Eric all the very best as they continue their journey as crop protection agripreneurs. Please read their final blog posts below.
Simon Appeltans: Back to the future of agriculture
Apalowo Oluropo Ayotunde (Ropo): My agripreneur journey in developing the Mobile Plant Clinic
Bruna Czarnobai de Jorge: Pushing and pulling into the future
Antonette Bojuse Ncube: Crop protection in Botswana – use of drone technology
Eric Jhon Cruz: My PestiSorb Project: What I learned and how I’m moving forward