Jamaica News: Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Floyd Green, is encouraging the nation’s youth to tap into the potential income-earning opportunities to be derived from agriculture by, among other things, establishing enterprises in the sector.
Noting that the tourism industry, in particular, consumes some $40 billion worth of the local produce annually, Mr. Green said young persons need to “take a share of the pie”, adding that in so doing, they would be assisting to reduce Jamaica’s annual US$900-million food import bill.
“I hope that all of you will get a share. There are so many items that we are not producing anyway near the demand for in Jamaica, and you should be thinking about how you can start your own farm,” the State Minister said
He was speaking at the Jamaica 4-H Clubs recent National Youth In Agriculture Symposium at the Northern Caribbean University (NCU) in Mandeville, Manchester.
The event, staged under the theme ‘I am Agri-Smart’, aimed to generate increased youth awareness about sector developments, with particular focus on agriculture education, entrepreneurship, and climate change-related issues.
Meanwhile, Mr. Green advised that the Government would shortly be launching a ‘roadmap’ programme for youth in agriculture, to address issues such as financing.
President of NCU, Dr. Lincoln Edwards, in his remarks, said that with young people being proficient users of technology, he is confident they will “find solutions to the challenges that we face”.
“Youth will make a difference, and make agriculture reach heights not yet seen in Jamaica’s history,” he contended.
Jamaica 4-H Clubs Executive Director, Dr. Ronald Blake, said the symposium provided “frank and empowering” dialogue around key issues identified as impediments to youth involvement in agriculture.
He said the engagements enabled the participants to “flip these known problems around, so that we can see the hidden opportunities and the answers to fix these issues, to the benefit of the sector”.
Meanwhile, 4-H Clubs Chairman, Hidran McKulsky, encouraged the participants to utilise the information imparted at the various sessions and workshops to become “agri smarter” as investors, while they contemplate career options.
Source: JIS News