A month-long training for grassroot youth to works towards reclaiming autonomous food and livelihood systems began at the State Institute of Rural Development (SIRD) Nongsder, Umiam yesterday.
The training programme, ‘Indigenous Youth Fellowship Programme’ is being organised by NESFAS in three main venues; SIRD, Umsawwar (East Khasi Hills) and Khweng (Ri-Bhoi). The programme is aimed to train youth to defend their Indigenous Food Systems (IFS) and identity.
Executive Director of NESFAS Pius Ranee said that the aim of the program is not just for youth to learn conventionally, but a collaborative effort of pitching ideas and exchange of knowledge. The program is also an important aspect for leadership training and taking forward the learning to tackle issues within your communities and represent your communities at best, he added.
Altogether 27 young participants from East Khasi Hills, West Khasi Hills, Ri-Bhoi, Jaiñtia Hills and Garo Hills are taking part in the training. These youth have been identified and selected based on their active participation and commitment in their respective communities, who are working in enhancing NESFAS project goals.
Through the fellowship programme, participants will be learning the various contours behind their food systems such as Gender Equality, Leadership Qualities, Value Addition of Agricultural produce, Agroecology and Landscape Management besides others.
NESFAS hoped to inculcate a sense of responsibility among the local youth towards their food systems and agricultural produce and spread the word and the knowledge among each other.