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From Local Activities to Global Development

Mohammadreza Davari, from Iran, tells us his story and reflects on his experience of Young Professional in Agriculture in Iran.

In September 2009, after 4 years study in Agronomy at “Indian Agricultural Institute” (IARI), I began my activities in different ways in the agricultural sector in Iran. I have been working as adviser in agricultural fields. I am also researcher and lecturer at the university.

It was a suitable opportunity for me to apply in Iran my experiences and knowledge obtained from Indian scientists. However, I had to adapt my knowledge to be applicable in my country’s context, because of different climates, equipments and culture.

The results of my research activities are two published books in Iran and Germany, more than 50 papers published in scientific journals and presented in international and national conferences and an innovation related to enriched vermicompost.

In rural area, I could introduce two new plants from India: “baby corn” and sesbania. The first one can be cultivated as a summer crop after wheat and barley in most regions of Iran and the second crop is capable of using as a suitable and N-riched matter in composting and vermicomposting.  

I have been in contact with young professionals in agriculture in these last four years and I realize that they need most support especially in cases as following:

English language barrier

Most of Iranian educated people are weak in English, including writing and speaking, due to the education system that organizes all subjects in Persian language (Iranian official language) even in PhD courses. As a result, they are not able to communicate with other scientists and researchers on an international level properly. Thus they are not able to access the latest scientific information and events that are mostly published in English. It is one of the major problems of Iranian students when they begin studying abroad although their knowledge is similar with native English speakers.

I personally try to solve it by teaching English (agricultural and environmental scientific terms) to students and graduates in NGOs. Also, my first book,entitled “Illustrated Dictionary of Ecology” (English to Persian and Persian to English) was meant to help Iranian researchers in this way in 2012. It was published by one of the most famous academic publisher in Iran (Iranian Academic Center for Education, Culture & Research). I also created a weblog (Green Iran) to broadcast latest news and events in agriculture in both English and Persian for agriculturists who are weak in English. It can encourage them to learn English as a widespread scientific language. 

I believe that Iranian young professionals need to improve their skills in English to exchange their experiences and skills with their colleagues around the world via YPARD as a powerful organization. In fact, this ability plays an important role in their presence among other young agriculturists worldwide.

Worldwide Communications

Communications have an important role in progress. Nowadays, we need to create different gates to approach this goal because the number of Iranian researchers (PhD and post doctorate) abroad, especially in developed countries, has been decreased due to diplomatic issues and economic crisis in the country. On the other hand, developing private and state Universities causes the increase in number of students, particularly in postgraduate, who should have access to modern science and technology. When it becomes difficult to get advanced technology from overseas we should find alternative path for obtaining it.  International meetings and workshops can update knowledge of young agriculturists and keep them in touch with senior scientists. The first symposium of conservation agriculture was held to introduce a method of sustainable agriculture in Payame Noor University (Arak center) in 2010. In the workshop of “organic and biodynamic agriculture” which was held simultaneously, Dr. Yashbir Singh Shivay, principal scientist of Agronomy from IARI presented his latest fundamentals in these issues. In the mentioned programs, my responsibilities included managing symposium and workshop as a scientific secretary and course director, respectively.

It is certainly true that YPARD can contribute to linking up young professionals of third world countries with international projects. It can be the bridge where cross modern scientific information like new cropping and farming systems, biofertilizers, varieties etc to the communities and in return, young researchers in developing countries can exchange their knowledge, specially indigenous,  with people from development countries. In fact, sustainability is the result of use of modern technology plus traditional knowledge globally.

At last but not least, I hope we all under the umbrella of YPARD assist each other to overcome agricultural problems and environmental crises such as drought, global warming and climate changes. It is possible only by young people especially those who are educated and professional in these subjects.