Category: Announcements
An open Letter to the Agriculture and Forestry University

[AgriYouthNepal shared this Open Letter with various stakeholders of Agriculture and Forestry University on the glorious occasion of fifth anniversary of Agriculture and Forestry University (AFU)]

Happy AFU Day, everyone!

It is a matter of joy and pride for all the stakeholders, staffs, teachers and students that our university has come this far and we hope it will grow and flourish in years to come. It is a historic day and in the midst of the anniversary celebration, we would like to bring into limelight where we stand on the changing landscape of learning and information sharing.

ICT based tools like Global Positioning System (GPS), Geographic Information System (GIS), satellite imagery, digital database, data mining and data mediation sound promising and are increasingly gaining momentum. ICTs are an essential foundation to drive today’s research and are not just mere add ons. Research activities are becoming increasingly distributive, collaborative, ICT and information intensive.

A university represents some of the highest concentrations of talented and intelligent individuals anywhere on the planet. It is the place where people literally engage in lifelong education. Improving technological infrastructure, investing in greater connectivity, data and information, creating a digital knowledge base, encouraging e-learning and developing capacity should be fostered in agriculture universities to support innovative agriculture development. When it comes to ICT based infrastructure, AFU has been a laggard in the modern timeline. Today when the world discusses about MOOCs(Massive Open Online Courses) and Open Access, we have stationery visiting hours for getting the Xeroxes of lecture notes that were probably written before we were even born. We have not been well acquainted with where and how to access information of our choice, what the recent news/updates are in our sector and who to concern for the technical back stopping. Although some initiatives have been made in delivering lectures through powerpoint presentations, anyone who has sat through a “death-by-PowerPoint” lecture can realize that they have not been as effective as they could be. Learning is not about how loud the bells ring and the whistles blow.
The central library has done an appreciable job collaborating with the Cornell University supported “TEEAL” programme. However, it lacks frequent monitoring and evaluation and there is a serious need of developing technical capacity among the academicians and students about accessing the journals.

We would like to point out some major areas where the university should prioritize in the recent future:
1. Development of physical and virtual ICT infrastructures.
2. Equipment on computer and telecommunication hardware.
3. Digital repository, Open Access and virtual library.
4. Publications(online/offline) on recent research activities carried out by the students and academicians of the university.
5. Online application and examination forms for entrance examinees and students of the university.
6. High speed internet connectivity within the university premises.
7. An effective, responsive and well designed university website with a resource database, a staff and student login portal, e-learning materials and publications.
8. Capacity building in use of ICTs to improve quality of teaching, learning and research.

If just 10% of the investment spent on physical infrastructures went to digital, it would have an enormous impact. It would make large cost savings and provide competitive advantages and meet students’ expectations. It would aid research, collaboration, improve teaching and enhance reputation. We here not only stress upon digital infrastructures, but also on investment in skilled professionals who can build digital tools that meet the present learning needs.

We are facing a crisis. We request you to move digital up your agenda. Don’t ignore it because you don’t understand it. Don’t presume it is just a support function. Make sure you recognise it for what it is, a critical part of our university. If you want us to innovate and really bring next-generation learning to life, you have to engage at a higher level and demand more “out of pattern” experiences. All we need is a bit of vision and a willingness to experiment.

We are looking forward for a more engaging and useful learning environment. We need a tipping point. We need something to catalyze this effort and energy and take it to the next level. Your effort for a more learning centered digital and physical based infrastructure has potential to help not only students in the present time being, but also future students to live better and more fulfilled lives.

You’re the game changer!

Sincerely,
AgriYouthNepal
http://agriyouthnepal.com
(Disclaimer: This open letter is a part of AYN’s movement to create a better ICT enabled learning environment in the university. The words/ideas expressed in this letter are not meant to offend, underestimate and/or humiliate anyone. You can drop your views at [email protected])

Call for Abstracts for Poster Presentation on Neglected and Underutilized Species

Abstract

Although more than 3,000 plant species have been identified as edible, only 10 cereal grains, legumes and oilseeds dominate 80% of the world’s cropland. Wheat, Rice and Maize by themselves account for two-thirds of the world’s arable lands. This is starkly reflected in the diets we consume, where 90% of our plant-based calories can be traced back to only 30 or so crops. Consequently, about 60% of the world’s population is currently malnourished, either due to lack of enough calories or due to too much of the wrong kind of calories.

In the context of changing climate, over reliance on a handful of crops also puts our food security at great risk. Furthermore, over reliance on a handful of commodity crops also exposes people to the risks of rampant speculation in food prices resulting in food crises and riots seen in 2008. As the poor and vulnerable try to cope with food and economic crises, they further reduce consumption of diverse diet and their investment in education and healthcare services. Poor nutrition in early childhood can have dire repercussions for their future adulthood as well due to significantly compromised cognitive and social development.

Taking this into consideration, it is important to broaden our research on neglected and underutilized species (NUS)1, so called from the perspective of mainstream agricultural research. From 2011, with support from the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), the European Commission and Bioversity International, LI-BIRD has been implementing a project on NUS. The goal of this project is “to facilitate more effective and sustainable use, management and conservation of local agricultural biodiversity by communities and stakeholders, particularly in the context of food security, nutrition, income generation potential and adaptation to climate change.”

In three years of implementation, the project has developed research findings that are relevant to food security of the nation. On 12 February 2015, we are organizing a one-day workshop to share the findings of research and methodologies from the project for promoting and mainstreaming NUS crops in Nepal. The workshop will also feature a poster presentation session, where we are inviting other researchers and organizations to share their work related to NUS. This is a forum that hope will spark ideas and open up avenues for future collaboration in NUS crops.

Thus, if you have interest experiences related to NUS within the following themes, please send the abstract for your poster no later than 5pm (NST) 23 January 2015. We will cover the participation cost for the posters selected for presentation.

Themes for the abstract:

1. On farm and/or on station research on NUS crops
2. Processing technology on NUS crops
3. Folk History, tradition, indigenous knowledge and culture of NUS
4. Markets, marketing and promotion of NUS
5. Gender perspective on NUS
6. NUS for environmental and climate change resilience
7. Policy perspectives on NUS

Guidelines for the abstract:

It is encouraged to submit all abstract in English but in case of history, traditions and culture abstract in Nepali will also be accepted.
Abstracts are limited to 350 words excluding the titles.
Use limited references (e.g. Neupane 1999), only if necessary.
Complete abstract should have following things
– Title of the Abstract
– Author(s) with their affiliation (e.g, Indra Paudel, Technical Officer, Local
Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development, P O Box 324, Pokhara,
Nepal)
– E-mail of the lead author
– Abstract
– Keywords (max 5)

Multiple abstract from the same individual will also be accepted.
Please send your abstracts with short biography of lead author (max 50 words) to [email protected] mentioning Abstract for NUS Sharing Workshop as subject. Received abstracts will be reviewed by the team of experts and authors of selected abstracts will be notified via e-mail by 30 January, 2015.

Post Source: Read the full announcement on Li-Bird Website

ICT tools for Agri-Entrepreneurs : #NYFAED15 session

YPARD Nepal, MCRC and NFYN kicks off National Youth Forum on Agro-based Entrepreneurship Development #NYFAED15 on Lalitpur, Nepal. This blog article is a  summary of panel discussion of participants with panels comprising of Mr. Anish Shrestha  from KrishiGhar and Mr. Rabin Adhikari from Agricare Pvt. Ltd, Yagyapuri, Chitwan.

Krishi_Ghar and Agricare

Mr.Anish Shrestha from KrishiGhar on #NYFAED15

Mr. Anish Shrestha from KrishiGhar

Initially started as a college project by few students of Bsc,CsIT of St.Xaviers college, KrishiGhar is now viewed as potentially capable project helping many farmers and students nationwide.

This group project has been a boon for farmers who are geographically inaccessible however have the passion of cellphones. The innovative “Hath Hath ma Suchana”(Information in hand) provides farmers with agriculture related tips and information through SMSes. It has connected people with the right information in real time basis. The initiative of skype video conferencing with farmers group and expert has been uploaded to educate and impart knowledge about farming and agriculture .

Recently they have launched android application that directly provides information about specific methodologies and brings the people in field nearer to the elite and expert members.  In one month, this app has been downloaded in 800+ devices of android with 13,000+  actively engaging Facebook members.

Though this group project cannot engulf every farming members, however it has been total relief and effective companion for innovative farmers, students and agriculture personnels.

 

Mr. Rabin Adhikari from AgriCare

Kishan_Call_Centre

Mr.Rabin Adhikari from AgriCare- Panel discussion on #NYFAED15

Kishan call centre is an organization that tends to address the queries of farmers in need of a bit of expert advice.

At the beginning the lack of personnel was a constraint to call centre which saw many farmers disappointing due to lack of informations.

Through systematic management of database and rich information the centre has now made it possible for them to tackle the problems of farmers. Now it aims to collaborate with Tamil Nadu and Virginia University to further extend their information horizon and expertly handle any situation.

Kishan  Call Centre Toll Free Number >> 16605652999

Download KrishiGhar Android Application from google playstore.

For further details on KRISHI GHAR mail to [email protected]

 

Call for Application: National Youth Forum on Agro-based Entrepreneurship Development, 9-11 January 2015, Kathamandu, Nepal

YPARD Nepal with Multifarious Consultancy and Research Centre (MCRC) Pvt. Ltd., Kathmandu, Nepal’s support call for applications from Nepalese youth (18-40 years) to participate in the National Youth Forum on Agro-based Entrepreneurship Development (#NYFAED15) that will take place from January the 9th to the 11th, 2015 in Kathmandu, Nepal.

#NYFAED15 will bring together around 40 young professionals currently involved in agricultural extension and research, farming and marketing, as well as finance and public policy to discuss the future of the agro-based entrepreneurship development in Nepal. #NYFAED15 seeks to:

  1. Identify the steps required for wider involvement of young professionals in promoting sustainable intensification and profitable entrepreneurship in the agricultural sector;
  2. Chart the way forward out of mentorship programmes for bridging research and knowledge gaps in agricultural system;
  3. Generate conceptual tools needed for wider engagement and contribution of youth in agricultural development.

To participate in workshop, online application is available at http://www.ypard.net/news/nyfaed15-national-youth-forum-agro-based-entrepreneurship-development-2015.

Interested candidates can send their application before 25 December 2014.For any queries, please write to: [email protected] or [email protected].