In honor of International Youth Day, we would like to highlight an interesting and impactful youth-focused assignment completed in Nepal. Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) volunteer, Dr. Tiffany Drape, arrived in Ramechhap district in March 2016 to provide a training of trainers on youth facilitation and agriculture-based entrepreneurship development to staff and members of 4-H Nepal and the Youth Partnership for Development and Peace Nepal (YSP-Nepal). It is important to note that 4-H Nepal is the first registered 4-H organization in South Asia, and Winrock Farmer-to-Farmer training laid the groundwork for Nepali youth development professionals to create the national program. Therefore, I was excited about the opportunity to meet with Lok Raj Awasthi, President of 4-H Nepal, to discuss the organization, as well as to learn more about the impact of Dr. Drape’s training.
Mr. Awasthi explained the most important topics covered by Dr. Drape were business planning, profit and loss statements, sustainability, and communication skills. Many of the 4-H Nepal members already had their own agriculture businesses. However, he stated, “Farmers had no plan and didn’t keep records. But after the training many farmers are keeping records and now have a business strategy.” 4-H Nepal has since reached about 120 other national members with similar training on agricultural entrepreneurship development.
Later, in July 2016, 4-H Nepal hosted its first Youth Agriculture Entrepreneurship Conference (article here: 4H Nepal youth entrepreneurship conference). One of the goals of this conference is to empower more youth to engage in the agriculture sector. The conference was attended by more than 200 young farmers and the Vice President of Nepal. It featured sessions focused on progressive agro-based enterprise practices, where Dr. Drape’s training materials were utilized. This is the type of ripple effect you hope to see for any F2F assignment, but it is even more exciting to hear that the training has reached many more youth and has furthered the working relationship with 4-H Nepal. Mr. Awasthi noted, “This type of youth conference is just a stepping stone towards a progressive future for Nepal’s agriculture sector. We hope that we are able to provide a platform where young entrepreneurs could form a network and help each other.” We at F2F are looking forward to seeing even more great work on youth agricultural entrepreneurship development implemented through 4-H Nepal and hope Dr. Drape’s training will continue to benefit youth that are looking to start or build their own businesses.