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Call for Nominees for the 2019 Maize Youth Innovators Awards – Latin America

Open to young women and men under 35 who are implementing innovations in Latin American maize-based agri-food systems.


Nominations are now open for the 2019 MAIZE Youth Innovators Awards – Latin America!

These awards are part of the efforts that the CGIAR Research Program on Maize (MAIZE) is undertaking to promote youth participation in maize agri-food systems. These awards recognize the contributions of young women and men under 35 who are implementing innovations in Latin American maize-based agri-food systems, including research for development, seed systems, agribusiness, and sustainable intensification.

Latin America is the birthplace of maize and home to much of its genetic diversity. Maize is a main staple food across the continent and plays an important role in local culture and gastronomy. However, maize faces many challenges, from climate change-related stresses such as drought and heat to emerging pests and diseases. These challenges cannot be solved without the participation of young people at all levels of the maize value chain, from farmers to researchers and change agents. Over one-fourth of Latin America’s total population is between the ages of 15 and 29 – approximately 156 million people, the largest proportion of young people ever in the region’s history. By encouraging and empowering young people to develop innovative solutions to these challenges we can strengthen maize agri-food systems and improve food security in Latin America and across the world.

The MAIZE Youth Innovators Awards aim to identify young innovators who can serve to inspire other young people to get involved in maize-based agri-food systems. Part of the vision is to create a global network of young innovators in maize-based systems from around the world.

Award recipients will be invited to attend the 23rd Latin American Maize Reunion (XXIII Reunión Latinoamericana del Maíz) in Monteria, Colombia October 7-10 where they will receive their awards and be given the opportunity to present their work. The project meeting and award ceremony will also allow these young innovators to network and exchange experiences with MAIZE researchers and partners. Award recipients may also get the opportunity to collaborate with MAIZE and its partner scientists in Latin America on implementing or furthering their innovations.

MAIZE invites young innovators to apply and CGIAR researchers and partners to nominate eligible applicants for any of the following three categories:

  • Researcher: Maize research for development (in any discipline)
  • Farmer: Maize farming systems in Latin America
  • Change agent: Maize value chains (i.e., extension agents, input and service suppliers, transformation agents).

We ask nominators/applicants to take into account the following criteria and related questions:

  1. Novelty and Innovative Spirit: To which specific novel findings or innovation(s) has this young person contributed? (in any of the three categories mentioned above)
  2. Present/Potential Impact: What is the present/potential benefit or impact of the innovation(s) in maize-based agri-food systems?

To apply:

Applications should be submitted online, through the Application Form by July 22, 2019.

Key dates:

Opening date for nominations: June 19, 2019

Closing date for nominations: July 22, 2019

Notification of winners: August 6, 2019

NOTE:  Nominations received after the closing date will not be considered.

Additional information:

A PDF version of this Call for Nominees is available here.

Nomination/Application Guidelines can be found here.

The Application Form can be found here and is also available on the MAIZE and YPARD websites.

For any questions or issues, contact us at maizecrp@cgiar.org

This award is sponsored by the CGIAR Research Program on Maize (MAIZE) in collaboration with YPARD (Young Professionals for Agricultural Development).