More young people are being encouraged to get involved in agriculture.
And those gathered for a graduation and opening ceremony for the Youth in Agriculture Programme Phase 10 at the Ellerton Community Centre, were urged to give agriculture a fair chance and to see it as a serious career.
In delivering remarks, Chief Agricultural Officer Lennox Chandler said the challenge the sector faced was that it did not have enough young people involved.
“Agriculture and its development in Barbados is not without its fair share of challenges, including an aging farming population and a noted decline in youth involvement in agriculture. Indeed, the Ministry has observed that the average age of persons in Barbados actively involved in agriculture was over 50 years and that was a great cause for concern,” he said.
“The Ministry and its supporting agencies therefore sought to remedy this issue by intensifying efforts to encourage younger persons to pursue careers in agriculture and facilitate training programmes to educate our youth, whether they are provided by Government or by non-governmental organizations,” Chandler added, noting that they were already seeing favourable results.
Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Senator Patrick Todd, delivering remarks on behalf of Prime Minister Freundel Stuart to the graduands, congratulated them on their achievement and encouraged them to continue striving and to use their knowledge for good.
“I urge you to see how you can pass on the skills and values that you have learned to others, and how you can set good examples for others to follow, even as you seek to make a living from the knowledge and experience that you have gained in the programme,” he said.
“May the tenth year of this programme result in even more success than that already achieved in the previous years,” Todd added.