Bootcamp for Youth in Agribusiness
40 youth followed masterclasses in agrifood development
ICCO Cooperation and a number of other agrifood organizations and companies working in Myanmar with roots in the Netherlands (East West Seed, De Heus, Fresh Studio and Agriterra) organized the Agrifood Bootcamp, coordinated by AgriProFocus and co-funded by the Dutch government.
The objectives of the Bootcamp were three-fold:
1) Increased awareness of the possibilities for youth in agribusiness in Myanmar, and more linkages and exchange between youth and (Dutch) agribusinesses and organizations
2) Showcasing and positioning an improved understanding of the Myanmar agrifood sector for agribusinesses and organizations
3) Innovative approaches and new technologies developed and exchanged.
Creative business plans
Like in many countries worldwide, the agricultural sector is less and less interesting workplace for young people. The average age of farmers is increasing, whereas at the same time the challenges in agrifood sectors around the world are substantial, and in need of fresh and innovative ideas. The Agrifood Bootcamp brought this together by mobilizing a number of Myanmar’s bright students and young professionals, giving them the assignment to come up with creative plans for the five challenges of the participating organizations:
- How to increase domestic consumption of pulses and oilseeds in Myanmar (ICCO’s challenge).
- How to improve safe use of pesticides for growing vegetables (East West Seed’s challenge).
- How to improve access to high quality inputs (Fresh Studio’s challenge).
- How to develop a model for family owned poultry farmers to compete with international companies (De Heus’ challenge).
- How to actively use the knowledge and vision of young farmers in agricultural cooperatives (Agriterra’s challenge).
Agriterra group wins
The Agrifood Bootcamp was preceded by a number of teaser workshops in which young people were encouraged to apply for participation. More than 100 youth applied, and 40 of them were selected to join a week full of masterclasses, trainings, field visits and pitch preparations (e.g. ICCO Myanmar trained the Bootcampers on using the Business Model Canvas). The Agriterra group won this year’s Bootcamp, and all group members will receive a leadership training by MDF Training & Consultancy, and a Meet & Greet with the Dutch ambassador!
Including the youth
Youth inclusion in agriculture in one of the core topics of the Civic Engagement Alliance in Myanmar. Besides the opportunity for capacity development of youth themselves, the Agrifood Bootcamp was an excellent example of showing youth’s potential to work on some of Myanmar’s biggest issues in the agrifood sector. The presence at and strong interest in the Agrifood Bootcamp Showcase Event in Nay Pyi Taw of Myanmar’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation, the Netherlands embassy, large Myanmar and foreign companies, and many other relevant stakeholders was a good sign of their willingness to work on the topic of youth inclusion.
Fun fact: the Agrifood Bootcamp was also highlighted as the Partner Up event for Myanmar! Also see: https://www.icco-cooperation.org/en/event-partnerup/agrifood-bootcamp