Cummings launches agri project to attract youths

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

File photo: Foster Cummings

YOUTH Development and National Services Minister Foster Cummings has launched the Youth Agricultural Shade House Project to attract more young people to the profession and create sustainable jobs in the sector.

Launching the project on Monday at the ministry on Elizabeth Street, St Clair, Cummings said the programme is designed to equip young people with the skills and resources to develop agriculture and produce high-value crops.

His vision is to contribute to the sector to promote a grow-what-you-eat and eat-local culture and establish significant agri-entrepreneurship opportunities.

The project will provide agricultural training, infrastructure development and extension and operational services to 100 participants between 16 and 35. The ministry will give participants with a stipend during the project.

The one-year certification programme will be done in collaboration with UWI, St Augustine and the National Agricultural Research Extension Institute of Guyana at the Chaguaramas Development Authority Agricultural Park, Tucker Valley, Chaguaramas.

Cummings said, “The intention is that we give young people throughout Trinidad and Tobago the opportunity to take part in this project that will be dedicated to training them in the production of high-value agricultural products.

“The model will involve the formation of a co-operative of the participants upon the successful completion of their training. They will form a business model that they will utilise to market these crops to the users, (who) will be of course people in the hospitality industry, in the fast food industry, and of course to the common consumers throughout the country.”