Youssef Beni Houd, Technical Responsible for North and Central Italy and Foreign Countries


Why did you pursue a career in the agriculture industry?

I took up a career in the agriculture sector due to my grandfather, who had a farm in Marrakech (Morocco). When I was a child, I usually visited the farm with my parents, where I discovered animals such as the Arabic horse, cow, and sheep, as well as olive and orange cultivation. It was an excellent experience.

From that moment on, I started in my house garden in Marrakech when I was six years old to get my first experience with the cultivation of tomatoes, lentils and American potatoes (spread across the country) and to take note of the date of cultivation, plant development and maturation period (harvest) in my diary. Let me say that for a child, it was an amazing discovery but at that time, it was a signal to direct me toward the agricultural sector.

I relocated to Italy when I was 13, and after some adjustments and challenges I met my Italian literature Professor, she was my second mother. Thanks also to her, I was able to learn the Italian language and understand the Italian mentality, get high school, university, and PhD diplomas with excellent scores and finally pursue my professional career in the agriculture sector.

How do you see global agricultural practices evolving to ensure a more sustainable future? Are there any trends or innovations you find promising?

I reckon, from my side, that global agricultural practices are needed to build a sustainable future for the sector because agriculture will provide a source of occupation, reduce poverty in rural areas, increase farmers’ incomes, limit inflation, and stabilize food prices. As it is known, the potential of agricultural development to solve the poverty problem is four times greater than other economic areas (Larsen et al., 2009.).

What advice would you give young professionals in Agriculture?

What I can advise to young professionals is: Participate in continuous training, updates and study. If they can get experience outside of their country, e.g., in Anglo-Saxon countries doing internships in universities, public organizations or the private sector could be helpful to improve their skills and to pursue their professional career.

To start using with familiarity “AI” in solving problems and contributing to the development of the agricultural sector. To be open-minded, demolishing cultural barriers because all together we live on the same planet, and we need solutions, not complications.

Rimini (Italy)