Men and women in a line, bent over as they work in a green field, with a steep mountain in the background.
Agriculture is the main occupation in Nepal. Department of Plant Sciences master's student Isha Poudel is interested in gender equities in agriculture and how they relate to the risks and dangers associated with climate change in Nepal and other rural areas. Photo by Adman Payne, https://Commons.Wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Farming_in_Nepal.jpg

Poudel named to Future Leaders Forum

Plan: Ag technology plus equity for Nepalese women farmers

Master’s student Isha Poudel wants to bring agricultural technology to rural communities while empowering women farmers in her homeland of Nepal. Poudel is among 12 young scientists who will get help with her career goals after being named to this year’s Future Leaders Forum by the Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development.

12 men and women sitting on the floor in a room, the men on one side and the women on the other. The women are wearing bright and colorful clothing.
UC Davis Plant Sciences master's student Isha Poudel talks with villagers in Nepal.

"I am interested in gender equities in agriculture and its intersecting relationship with disasters and risks associated with climate change, particularly on vulnerable populations living in the Global South,” said Poudel, who is majoring in international agricultural development and studying with Amanda Crumpan associate professor in the Department of Plant Sciences

“I am humbled to have been selected as one of the Future Leaders Forum fellows," Poudel added. "As an international graduate student in the United States, I take this as a significant step toward building a professional network, and I am excited to learn socio-cultural, economic and scientific skills from the international community of scholars and practical experts in agricultural development."

Poudel’s fellowship includes partial support for her attendance at the annual AIARD conference in Washington, D.C. She will meet with influential people in Congress, universities and others active in international agriculture and rural development initiatives, AIARD reported. Agencies and organizations include the United States Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the World Bank, the United Nations, Dupont/Pioneer International, Chemonics and the Millennium Challenge Corp.

Crump knows what awaits her on this adventure.

“I was in the very first Future Leaders Forum class in 2004 when I was a graduate student,” said Crump, who also is leader of the Research Group on Agricultural Equity. Other UC Davis students also have received fellowships, she noted. “They have truly been among the best.”

Through the program, AIARD seeks to develop young professionals who can help “to eliminate poverty, improve food security and conserve and protect the environment” with projects that “stimulate broad-based economic growth and sustainable development,” organizers said.

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Trina Kleist, tkleist@ucdavis.edu, (530) 754-6148 or (530) 601-6846

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