Youth keen on agriculture
Fifteen students have successfully completed the Youth Farm Programme to earn Caribbean Vocational Qualifications (CVQs).
The land at Home Agriculture Station in St. Philip had not been cultivated in about 15 years, but after eight weeks of hard work, a team of budding agriculturalists transformed it into a brand new planting ground.
At an open day exhibition, the students gave tours of the field, showing off crops such as tomatoes, spinach, river tamarind and zucchinis, while displaying their knowledge of the sector.
Youth Farm Coordinator, Johan Springer told Barbados TODAY the participants braved the challenges of cultivating crops using organic methods. The students also worked with professionals of the sector during the summer.
Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Senator Harry Husbands was extremely pleased with the crops presented and the enthusiasm shown by students.
He said more attention must be paid to food security through the involvement of youth.
“We simply can’t abandon agriculture and import everything from overseas,” Senator Husbands said, highlighting that if disaster strikes, basic nutrition must still be provided to citizens.
New Zealand High Commissioner Jan Henderson expressed her delight in partnering with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) to encourage young Barbadians to become more invested in agriculture.
“If you’re not going to put the work into it, you’re never going to be the successful entrepreneur,” Henderson said, noting the passion of participating students.
One of the participants, 14-year-old Kyona Holder, admitted to Barbados TODAY that while she encountered difficulties at times, her summer was well spent as the programme was educational and worthwhile.
Seventeen-year-old Stefon Chandler, who said he is no stranger to farming, expressed the hope that he would get a job in the sector and eventually become an entrepreneur. (KW)