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Young scholars return from Hungary with new agricultural knowledge

Another group of young professionals have concluded their agricultural studies through a scholarship programme provided by FAO and the Hungarian Government. Counting the 20 new graduates, nearly 300 people from far-flung corners of the world have benefitted from the scholarship, gaining knowledge on plant protection, rural development, animal nutrition, biotechnology, and other sought-after areas.

Established in 2008, this scholarship – a joint programme of FAO and the Hungarian Government – has enabled young agricultural specialists to undertake master’s level studies in English at one of Hungary’s agricultural universities.

“This is a cornerstone in our cooperation with Hungary, the country that hosts the FAO office responsible for the Organization’s work in Europe and Central Asia,” said Vladimir Rakhmanin, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative. “Initially, the programme was planned to run for ten years; however, supporting knowledge-sharing through people who are eager to choose agriculture as their profession is a common priority for both parties, so we decided for the continuation.”

The future of agriculture is not input-intensive, but knowledge-intensive. Therefore, opportunities such as this scholarship can help ensure that certain countries won’t be left behind. So far, the programme has proved to be very popular in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Mongolia, Serbia and Vietnam. In total, nationals of 41 countries have studied agriculture in Hungary through the programme.

Most of the crises in the world can be tackled by a strong agricultural sector, backed by well-educated professionals, and by knowing each other’s way of thinking and culture. The Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture is therefore committed to the education of young agricultural professionals with useful talents so that they can help agriculture flourish in their home countries.

Most of the scholars are positive about their two-year study course in Hungary, and they hope that back home, this experience will provide them better chances in their professional lives. An alumni network helps them turn these hopes into reality and keep contacts alive.

Applications for the academic year starting in autumn 2020 will be open in early January. The call will be published on the website of the FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia.

26 June 2019, Budapest, Hungary

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