Training young farmers to become future farmers’ leaders

The WFO Gymnasium is a high-level capacity building programme aimed at training young farmers to make them become future leaders in the agricultural sector, implemented in close partnership with Bayer.

In the present economy, education is at the centre of all professional experiences and soft skills acquisition and intellectual capital management are crucial for succeeding in a highly-intense competitive environment requiring a diverse knowledge and high-level specialization. This is the spirit of the programme, considering that today’s young farmers play a critical role for the achievement of global food security, tackling the climate change, while improving the viability level on the farm.

In the framework of the Gymnasium programme, young farmers receive lessons from international leaders, who work in the various policy areas at global level and also have the opportunity to attend and be actively engaged in global events related to agriculture (i.e. plenary sessions of the Committee on World Food Security, CFS, Global Forum on Food and Agriculture, GFFA, UNFCCC Conference of the Parties, COP, UN High-Level Political Forum, HLPF).

In each edition, the Gymnasium group is composed of 20 young farmers from WFO member organisations worldwide. Each edition of the programme lasts for 30 months and the young farmers meet at least twice per year on the occasion of international conferences related to agriculture, so to gain an exposure to the reality of the global negotiations on agriculture. The first edition of the programme started in October 2017 and ended in February 2020 with a graduation ceremony at WFO headquarters in Rome.