Empowering the youths to sustain and strengthen the agricultural sector
WINFA (The Windward Islands Farmers Association) as part of its program to promote investment and development of the agricultural sector conducted a National Youth Forum in collaboration with BAM (Banana Accompanying Measures) Youths in Agriculture component on June 16th 2015. The theme of the forum was “Empowering the youths to strengthen and sustain the agricultural sector.”
From Richmond Vale Academy the June Month Team participated and took part of the exhibition part with posters, brochures and plenty information about the Academy and its programs.
The event was opened by Mrs. Kozel Peters-Fraser the Coordinator of WINFA and Hon. Saboto Ceasar the Minister of Agriculture.
Different interesting topics were discussed, like “The importance of agricultural sector: Adding value for national development”; “The new and emerging challenges within the agricultural sector” and “Engaging the youths for national agricultural development”
In the morning Mr. Michael Dalton, a technical specialist from ICA gave a presentation about “Engaging the youths in National Development”, following a very fruitful discussion about aging farming population, agriculture could be a way to lower unemployment among the youth, incorporate ICT in agriculture and the impact of Climate Change on Agriculture.
The objectives of the workshop included:
1. To educate youths about the importance of maintaining the agricultural sector as a key pillar of economic growth, food and nutrition security and rural development.
2. To assess the possible impact of Banana Accompanying Measures (BAM) for youths in agriculture
3. To increase the awareness of the challenges in order to sustain agricultural development and formulate possible solutions to combat / conquer these threats.
4. To create mechanism for young people active participation and continuous involvement in the sector.
In the afternoon sessions we heard more from panel speakers, who shared their opinion and experiences, like Selwyn Patterson from Richmond Vale, MS Michker Edwards from the Technical College and some young farmers from the island.
The last part of the workshop was a working group session, where the different teams were discussing “The strategies for engaging youths in agriculture”; “How can agriculture be sustainable?”; “Linkages between youths and ICT in agriculture”.
The whole event was very beneficial and fruitful. All of the participants got information about The Climate Compliance Program and how they could get involved in making St. Vincent a more climate compliant nation.