Economic network

Hundreds of young Jamaican farmers to benefit from pilot project

Six hundred young Jamaican farmers and fisherfolk across five parishes will be supported to strengthen their businesses and tackle climate change under the pilot project “Building the Adaptive Capacity of Farmers and Fishfishermen in Jamaica”.

The initiative, which is being undertaken with a multi-million dollar grant from Global Affairs Canada and the UK’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), was launched in the central parish of Clarendon on Thursday.

This is a key activity under the Enabling Gender-Responsive Disaster Recovery, Climate and Environmental Resilience in the Caribbean (EnGenDER) project of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and will be implemented with the support of 4-H clubs in Jamaica.

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The project is aimed at young male and female farmers and fishermen from selected communities in the parish of Clarendon, Westmoreland, Manchester, St. Elizabeth and St. Thomas.

Over a period of six months, participants will receive training in business management and financial education, as well as business inputs to start and strengthen their farming, fishing and agri-processing businesses.

This project, which uses a gender-sensitive model, also aims to strengthen equity and beneficiaries’ access to climate-resilient resources, thereby strengthening their adaptive capacity.

The company is expected to contribute to national efforts to reduce youth unemployment and engage more young people in agriculture.

Minister of State at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Franklin Witter, in his address at the launch, noted that under the project, 175 young people will be trained and certified in crop and animal production. , fishing and value-added agriculture.

In addition, venture capital, technical support and mentoring will be provided to 110 young people for agribusiness development.

“This will build the resilience of young people to climate change and help pull vulnerable groups towards maximizing their true potential,” added Witter, noting that equity in the agricultural sector will enable more people to participate in economic growth. from the country.

“Our goal at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is to chart a course that will ultimately protect lives and livelihoods and our young people must lead this initiative to energize and lead the agricultural sector.”

UNDP Jamaica Cluster Office Resident Representative Denise Antonio, who participated in the online launch, said the project aligns with the Youth in Agriculture program of Jamaica’s 4-H Clubs.

She noted that the grant funding will provide the 600 young people with “skills building and business development, directly contributing to sustainable and climate-smart livelihoods in the agriculture and fisheries sectors.”

“The work to be undertaken holds great promise for transforming our beneficiary communities, especially young people,” said Antonio.

The EnGenDER project, which is implemented in several Caribbean countries, aims to improve the climate resilience of women and girls, key vulnerable populations and future generations.

Besides Jamaica, the other beneficiary countries are Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Suriname.