Turn challenges into opportunities

The doors for the YAS 2017 applications are closed. The essay contest took place from September 7, 2016 – January 13, 2017. 

To be considered for participation, young people aged 18–25 who are personally, professionally and academically interested in agriculture, food security, environmental and social stewardship, were invited to submit an essay of 1,500 words on the topic of food insecurity. A total of 1,187 essays from 95 different countries were submitted; all of which were reviewed by a panel of industry experts. The ability to demonstrate original ideas and passion was one of the key selection criteria for the Youth Ag-Summit. 

This year’s winning applicants focused their essay submissions on the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals and the role of youth in helping to feed a growing world population. Ideas put forward related to improving education and awareness of best practices, increasing gender equality within the sector, changing consumption patterns, and mitigating the impact of climate change on crop yield, to name a few.

Our applicants answered the following essay question:

In the next 40 years, it is projected that the world population will grow from 7 to almost 10 billion. However, 1 billion people today still do not have enough safe and nutritious food to eat. Demand is rising while resources are dwindling. Solutions are strongly debated across rural, urban and international communities.

In September 2015, the world’s leaders came together to agree on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all.

In the context of “Feeding a hungry planet” and using your own village, town, city or country as your point of reference, tell us on which SDGs youth can have the most impact in the next one to five years, both at a local and global level.

You should explain how working on these SDGs youth can bring real change to agricultural or food chain practices, or personal and community behaviors, that could help feed 10 billion and create a more sustainable local and global society.