Barbados' youth are being urged to get involved in the country’s agricultural sector to ensure its preservation and longevity.
This encouragement came from Charleston Lucas, the Acting Deputy Chief Agricultural Officer (Livestock Extension), as he delivered the feature address at the opening ceremony of the Youth In Agriculture Programme – Phase 4, at the Parkinson Community Centre, St Michael, yesterday.
The eight-week programme, which was facilitated by the Office of the Advisor on Poverty Eradication and the Millennium Development Goals, involves over 30 participants who will benefit from training that will attempt to inculcate best agricultural practices.
As he explained the value, constraints and Government involvement in the sector, Lucas noted that tourism had outgrown agriculture, but “this does not mean that the sector should diminish”.
“We need to bring young people into agriculture; we need them to take over . . . . We want young persons to view agriculture as a business, and we want to encourage them to work together and cooperate and share ideas because that is the foundation of having a successful industry.
“Agriculture serves the purpose of creating employment. You must not only look at the production side to see the importance of agriculture because there are also backward and forward linkages within the agriculture sector."
Meanwhile, director of Youth Affairs in the Ministry of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, Cliveston Hunte, said he was pleased to see that the participants who were among the youngest members of the population had chosen to be involved in one of the “oldest and noblest industries – agriculture”.