11/13/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/13/2020 16:49
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Floyd Green (right), and St. Andrew Technical High School student and member of the Jamaica 4-H Clubs, Deja-Nai Grant display the Jamaica 4-H Clubs Roadmap to Success following the launch at the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce on St. Lucia Avenue in Kingston on November 12.
The Agriculture and Fisheries Ministry is working apace to develop a National Youth in Agriculture Policy that seeks to address and improve upon the issues affecting youth in the sector.
Portfolio Minister, Hon. Floyd Green, said the policy is being targeted for launch in 2021 and among the issues it will address is the access to available land for young people to farm.
'We have to ensure that we have government land set aside for our young people. The idea now is that we want to allocate at least 20 per cent of our government land for people under the age of 35. That is the direction in which we are going,' he said.
Minister Green was speaking at the launch of the Jamaica 4-H Clubs Youth in Agriculture Roadmap booklet, at the St. Lucia offices of the Industry, Investment and Commerce Ministry on November 12.
The Minister indicated that lands being targeted are those belonging to the Sugar Company of Jamaica (SCJ) Holdings and to agro-parks.
Another issue that the policy will address is the access to funding for young people in agriculture, which includes the use of funds from the $1.6-billion Production Incentive Programme (PIP) that is being implemented by the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) and targets several crops for development.
'The policy will speak to a percentage of our Production Incentive Programme that will be set aside,' Mr. Green said.
Training and access to technical services are other areas that are also being targeted by the policy.
He lauded the team behind the creation of the roadmap and urged the Jamaica 4-H Clubs to create an application to facilitate its access.
The Youth in Agriculture Roadmap, which is financed through the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme implemented by the United Nations Development Programme, delivers insight into the major agricultural outlets and opportunities available to youth up to the age of 35, which are necessary to underpin business viability.
In his remarks, Executive Director of the Jamaica 4-H Clubs, Dr. Ronald Blake said the availability of the roadmap is an important contribution of the Jamaica 4-H Clubs to the agricultural sector.
'The content of the roadmap was framed around the feedback we gained from prior youth consultations. In those consultations, we were able to identify some key challenges from those who sought to enter the sector as well as the youth, who participate in the sector,' he said.
He further noted that the information it contains will be open for feedback and further improvements and updates where necessary so that it remains relevant to its users.