Syngenta launches 2016 Connections program in partnership with the USAID-funded Feed the Future Asia Innovative Farmers project
Jul. 4, 2016
The partnership will, for the first time, expand Syngenta Connections to eight countries, including Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand and Vietnam. It will bring 20 agricultural students from diverse backgrounds and cultures together for a two-week experiential trip to Vietnam in mid-July.
Through lectures, farmers’ dialogue and field visits, the students will gain insights into the current state of agriculture and smallholder farming in Asia Pacific, and learn how various stakeholders, including agribusinesses, governments, and NGOs, play a key role in supporting smallholder farmers and improving food security in the region.
With mentors to provide guidance and technical advice, the students will also be challenged to explore the current constraints in smallholder farming and develop solutions that support existing challenges. The winning solution will be awarded US$2,000 that will be donated to a local organization to support its further development.
“The partnership demonstrates a shared commitment in supporting smallholders in Asia Pacific, where they play a critical role in ensuring the region’s food security and agricultural sustainability,” said Andrew McConville, Head of Corporate Affairs, Syngenta Asia Pacific. “We are excited to bring together agricultural students today to learn more about smallholder farming and contribute to the solutions of tomorrow.”
“USAID shares Syngenta’s objective to empower young people to be drivers of change for agriculture in the region,” said Acting Mission Director for the USAID Regional Development Mission for Asia Todd Sorenson. “Our projects in Asia work to adopt new agricultural technology to make food production and distribution more efficient, helping tens of thousands of the poorest farmers from productivity to marketing, ultimately raising incomes and improving livelihoods."
“I hope to use the information and knowledge that I will gain from this program to support my research in finding new technologies in agriculture, testing and modifying them for smallholders, especially women farmers,” said Muyleang Kim, from the Royal University of Agriculture Cambodia.
The Program is supported and executed in partnership with a number of industry partners, including Winrock International, Rimfire Resources, MimosaTek, and the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture.
Seeking to inspire the next generation leaders in agriculture, Syngenta Connections provides opportunities for agriculture students to learn about different farming practices, in collaboration with universities, institutions, growers and local organizations. Since its launch in 2010, more than 100 students from across Asia Pacific have taken part in the program.
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