The Rural Development Commission (RDC) today pledged its support to help reduce gun violence.
Minister of Housing, Lands and Rural Development Denis Kellman said the RDC had a responsibility to help provide alternative means of employment for the young men and women of Barbados.
“I pledge to join with churches in St Lucy to deal with this problem. We want them to put down something but we have to give them something to take up. The RDC will continue to use the resources available to us to have something for the youngsters to take up when we get them to put down the guns,” he said this morning as he addressed the organization’s 20th anniversary church service at the St Lucy Parish Church.
The minister said the RDC was already seeing a growing interest among young people in both the agriculture and fishing industries and it was therefore looking to expand opportunities in these areas.
“Small holdings must be given to these youngsters because it is from production that services are created. What is noticeable about the loans programme is that we have observed that young persons are starting to apply for loans and are showing some interest in farming activities. This is commendable and speaks very well for the future of our food security,” he added.
Additionally, Kellman said that the RDC was working to develop initiatives to build community tourism prospects, which he said would benefit job seekers.
“In our roads programme we are presently looking at the development of a number of coastline communities to assist in the development of community tourism initiatives. Our plan is to develop beaches which are located in villages so that these outlets become stops on the itinerary of tour operators thereby creating self-employment opportunities for the residents of the villages and other key players,” he said. (DB)