Project underway to promote greater involvement of Guyana youths in agriculture

i’ll give $5000 to the first person who can tell me what this project is all about
copied this article from the chronic
the official release by govt info agency is even moe vague and less specific
and it’s good to see if nothing else, the ministry of agriculture has a never ending capacity to generate weather reports
carry on

Project underway to promote greater involvement of youths in agriculture
January 29, 2016

A WORKING session was launched yesterday to enable wider stakeholder consultation to develop a National Action Plan for youths in agriculture in Guyana as part of a regional project.Under the theme: “Strengthening decent rural employment opportunities for young women and men in the Caribbean,”

the session was launched by the Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and the Presidential Adviser on Youth Empowerment.
The project got underway yesterday at the Ministry of Agriculture boardroom, Regent Street and Vlissengen Road, Georgetown.

Present were active stakeholders Presidential Adviser on Youth Empowerment Aubrey Norton; Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) representative to Guyana, Reuben Hamilton Robertson; Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture George Jervis and other ministry officials.
Youths and agriculture project
Presidential Adviser Norton said a management team has been assembled to make the youths and agriculture project a reality.
“I believe that as a country and a government, whenever the opportunity arises for projects that are funded, we should do everything to ensure that we not only access the funding, but make sure it’s implemented and [that] it’s efficacious,” Norton said.
He noted that such a project could be the beginning of a new corps of young people in agriculture who are skilled and technologically knowledgeable in keeping with the present state of the world.
“It will also afford us the opportunity to safeguard a legacy in agriculture…we must seek to develop a new corps of young people who are involved in agriculture with the required skills in the required technological context, while being as practical as possible,” Norton noted.
Building capacity
He said the project should be seen as building capacity among young people who will make a significant impact on the development of Guyana.
Permanent Secretary Jervis said youth unemployment is a major issue in Guyana (40%) and across the Caribbean (25%).
He said the agriculture sector employs less than 100 new young persons annually; meanwhile, the Guyana School of Agriculture churns out 120 students yearly.
“It is my hope that this project will broaden the horizons so it won’t be simply a case of as soon as you graduate from the Guyana School of Agriculture or any public service job, you simply won’t see yourself as a mere officer, but you will see yourselves [being] hands-on in agriculture and the production of food,” Jervis said.
He said Guyana’s agriculture has to adapt to globalisation and the use of technology and mechanisation. Moreover, the industry must address the ageing farming population which is a critical issue, Jervis said, since at many agriculture meetings youths are missing and this is worrying.
“The science of agriculture and the enthusiasm of youth needs to be implemented, so we can get to where we need to go as a country, so by promoting greater involvement of youths in agriculture, we will expect our young farmers not only to gain access, but also knowledge and best practices in the Caribbean Region,” the Permanent Secretary noted.
He said Government is focused on the promotion of youth employment and the Agriculture Ministry is offering its full support and cooperation in achieving the project’s objective.
Meanwhile, FAO representative to Guyana Robertson said that international agencies and governments have a critical role to play in ensuring that an enabling environment is created, making incentives and factors of production available to youths so that they can excel.
“We need to provide them [youths] with the adequate training that is necessary to make them productive, just like how we take them into the realm of Information Technology, Construction, Engineering, Construction and other fields; the same thing is necessary for agriculture for the youths to be successful and sustainable in whatever they do,” Robertson said.
He pointed out that there are tremendous opportunities for youths to excel in agriculture and a platform will be provided in the form of beneficiaries.
Gender equality
Noting that the FAO and the United Nations are looking forward to a selection process that will allow for gender equality, Robertson said the beneficiaries will be trained within the enterprises identified and those of their choice. Therefore, the programme will also build capacity for management and entrepreneurship, whether as groups or as individuals.
“This is only one small part of the Government’s overall policy for youth development and so it must be complementary to ongoing initiatives of a similar nature and also ongoing initiatives in other sectors of the economy, so there must be complementarity,” he asserted.
He said that if the first phase is ,it would lay the platform for youths in Guyana and throughout the Region.
By Rabindra Rooplall

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