Innovative new business of agriculture programme for youth launched

An innovative new programme for young people to learn about the business of agriculture and contribute to the economic development of the country has been launched.

The Youth Agri-preneurship Incubator Programme will provide opportunities for young people, age 16 to 35, to see agriculture as a sustainable and viable means of employment and is being seen as a potential economic driver.

During the official launch, held at Almond Bay Caterers, Hastings, Project Coordinator, Kareem Payne said the programme was timely because it came amidst a rising cost of living and fewer job opportunities.

During the official launch, held at Almond Bay Caterers, Hastings, Project Coordinator, Kareem Payne said the programme was timely because it came amidst a rising cost of living and fewer job opportunities.

This had made it difficult for people, especially the youth, to contribute to the development of the country and to secure decent work opportunities. The Agri-preneurship programme will address this by providing a viable alternative source of long-term employment and business venture opportunities.”

By the end of the four-month course students would be able to appreciate innovative forms of agriculture techniques such as alternative energy and scientific ways to enhance agriculture.

By the end of the four-month course students would be able to appreciate innovative forms of agriculture techniques such as alternative energy and scientific ways to enhance agriculture.

Beyond that, Mr. Payne said, there was the possibility of students taking part in cooperatives, exhibitions and open demonstration farms located on the premises of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management which developed the programme.

The incubator programme is specifically targeted to those with prior training or experience with agricultural techniques including students from the Barbados Community College, the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic, and the University of the West Indies. Participants will receive a certificate upon successful completion of the programme modules.

Four core components are the focus of the programme: Science and Technology in Agriculture, Organic Methods, Research Methods, and Business Principles.

The Youth Agri-preneurship Incubator programme is financed by the European Union through the Human Resource Development Strategy, an innovative programme designed to help Barbados empower more of its people in its drive to become more competitive.

The HRD Strategy is managed by the Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Human Resource Development in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation. Specifically, the incubator programme deals with the component of the HRD Strategy which is tasked with enhancing research to improve innovation, entrepreneurship and development among Barbadians.

In her remarks Project Coordinator of the HRD Strategy Unit, Maureen Pollard said the incubator programme was being supported through the HRD Strategy because its goals were consistent with those being pursued by the strategy.

In her remarks Project Coordinator of the HRD Strategy Unit, Maureen Pollard said the incubator programme was being supported through the HRD Strategy because its goals were consistent with those being pursued by the strategy.

It is hoped that this training and ultimately the programme will, among other things, lead to an increase in the number of youth involved in agriculture and the creation of sustainable agri-business ventures. These goals are consistent with those of the HRD Strategy which is supporting Government’s efforts to increase the country’s competitiveness, reduce poverty among Barbadians, and reduce vulnerabilities among groups such as the disabled,” she explained.

Ms. Pollard added that she looked forward to the outcomes of the programme because strengthening the skills and productivity of as many Barbadians as possible would provide significant advantages to the economy.

Also attending the launch were senior officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, the European Union as well as programme participants.

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