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By 2050, more than 9 billion people will live on our planet. This fact results in a dilemma: less available agricultural land to produce food for this growing world population. Ultimately, this scenario leads to the overarching question on how to feed this hungry planet. That’s why, from 24-27 August in Canberra, Australia, Bayer and the Australian youth organization Future Farmers Network bring together 100 young thought leaders, aged 18-25, from 33 countries for the Youth-Ag Summit to exchange on the role science and modern agriculture play in feeding a hungry planet.

During the Summit, young leaders connect with each other, listen to inspirational speakers, exchange ideas in breakout sessions and experience agriculture during field trips. They make a pledge to develop local solutions for local conditions and act as agricultural ambassadors in their home countries.

Taking into account this pressing issue of the growing world population, interactive sessions during the Summit will focus on sustainability, leadership and innovation, largely shaped by the essay topics the delegates handed in during the application phase.

“We are very pleased to co-host this once-in-a-lifetime event”, says Georgie Aley, Chair of Future Farmers Network. “I believe that young people have so much potential to contribute to solutions on global and local food challenges. We look forward to an open dialogue and to hearing their ideas and perspectives.”

“This is the second Youth Ag-Summit and we are delighted to continue our movement in Canberra today. Australia is a key country in terms of modern agriculture and an ideal host for this event”, says Bernd Naaf, Member of the Board of Management, Bayer CropScience. “We are very proud to have such bright minds and great organisations on board to commonly build a sustainable global network of future leaders and strong partners in agriculture.” 

Three UK representatives were chosen: Lydia Jeffs-Joory from Oxfordshire, Oliver Cassels from London, and Emma McIlveen from Northern Ireland.

Oliver said: “We face a huge challenge in meeting global food demand and I believe that technology will have a crucial part to play. I am excited by the rapidly changing way technology can help us produce more food, and I am looking forward to discussing and thinking of new ideas with other people at the Youth Ag-Summit.”

Lydia added: “Many of us take for granted having food freely available. I’ve often wondered why preventing food waste hasn’t been prioritised. It’s essential we stay open minded and increase awareness on the topic of food security.”

Emma said: “I was delighted to be selected to represent the United Kingdom. I plan to share the knowledge which I have gained with decision makers, young influencers and farmers across Northern Ireland. By doing so, I hope that I will be able to assist Northern Ireland to better contribute to feeding a hungry planet.”

The Summit provides a platform for young leaders to discuss challenges and develop solutions – small and large scale. This is reflected in the outcomes of the event. Personal commitments are expressed in the development of the “3 little things”. These are individual challenges on food and agricultural issues which delegates want to address back home in their local communities. The other main outcome is the “Canberra Youth Ag Declaration”, a global call for action to help solve the pressing issues in modern agriculture. The Declaration will be presented at the UN’s Committee on Food Security in Rome from 12-15 October where Bayer, as a member of the private sector mechanism, is hosting a side event.

To download the press kit and learn more about the delegates, please visit: www.youthagsummit.com

To follow the Youth Ag-Summit social media live stream: http://www.dialogue.cropscience.bayer.com/en/Youth-Ag-Summit-2015.aspx

Join the dialogue on the YAS social media channels:

YouTube: www.YouTube.com

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/YouthAgSummit

Twitter: www.Twitter.com/YouthAgSummit

Instagram: https://instagram.com/youthagsummit/