Vinesh Prasad

Degree: Postgraduate Diploma in Climate Change

Graduated: April 2012

Current Position: Agroforestry Technician at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Suva.

Current Employment/Academic Status:

Agroforestry Technician at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community in Suva, Fiji

What was your reason for enrolling in the Climate Change Program in PaCE-SD?

Understand Climate Change better and relate it with Agriculture and Forestry issues as well as to look at the impact of CC on rural development.

What does your current career involve? (i.e your main responsibilities)

I focus on establishing model agroforestry farms, experimenting different models of integration of trees with crops and livestock. I also focus on agro biodiversity conservation, food & income security and soil health. Climate change adaptation is also part of the package as I have included some drought resistant sweet potatoes in two different sites to see their performance.

How has your knowledge and skills gained from your studies assisted you and the organisation that you are working in with their duties related to climate change?

This course has enabled me to understand the climate change issue much better and easily related to Agriculture and Forestry Sector.

Can you tell us about any success stories in your career after you have graduated that you believe was made possible with your study experience at PaCE-SD?

This course has elevated my work and has made others recognise me as an agroforestry person in the SPC member countries.

What have you done differently/better now in your job after graduation?

This course has helped me to improve my knowledge thus preparing better reports, broadened my knowledge so now when I design a model or system on agroforestry I take issues such as climate change (both resilience and adaptation) into consideration.

What ambitions do you have for the future in your career?

To advocate Agroforestry as the best farming system that can adapt to climate change and continues to provide us with steady food supply and income.

What are you most proud of in your life? (Can be a personal achievement or work related)

My family – my wife and two kids.

What inspires you to pursue the type of work that you are in?

Genuine desire to make a difference amongst the lives of our Pacific Island peoples, especially those in rural sectors. We in Pacific Island Countries and Territories are very unique and so are our challenges and opportunities when paralleled with rest of the world. We need to design and devise our own solutions rather than copying from others. I believe we understand our people better so those of us who can should rise and be the change that we want in the Pacific. Many a time we hear of only problems, but there are so many opportunities that we have overlooked to tell the world.

Who is your role model and why?

My role model is Nelson Mandela – never give up, always strive for betterment of our communities.

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