FAO estimates that between 20 and 40 percent of global crop yields are reduced each year due to the damage wrought by plant pests and diseases. This is a staggering amount that has a real impact on our food and nutrition security. It is therefore crucial that in this more and more globalized world, we need to increase our efforts to protect food security and the environment, and ensure protection of plants from pests and diseases.
In 2019, the 14th IUPAC International Congress of Crop Protection was held in Ghent, Belgium from 19-24 May. The theme of the Congress was “Crop Protection: Education of the Future Generation”. As the academic institution and host of the conference, Ghent University aimed to involve the next generation of plant protection leaders and showcase the next generation’s crucial role in the future of agriculture.
Two exciting elements made up the IUPAC Next Generation Programme:
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.
N-GAGE champions: N-GAGE (Next Generation Agricultural Innovators) is an IUPAC 2019 pilot 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.