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CARDI Helping Saint Lucia To Get More Youth Involved In Agriculture

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Amid an ageing farming population, the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) is assisting Saint Lucia and other Caribbean countries in getting more young people involved in agriculture.

“We realise a lot of the farmers are aged,” CARDI’s representative in Saint Lucia, Andre Barry Innocent, disclosed.

Innocent revealed that farmers are usually between forty and sixty-plus.

The CARDI official said his organisation is exploring various initiatives to attract more youth to agriculture.

“There is an inclination towards using more computers and drones and all that type of thing, in collaboration with our Ministry of Agriculture in our different countries,” Innocent told the programme ‘Agriculture on the Move.’

He said the objective was to make agriculture more interesting for young people.

Available data showed that the average age of Caribbean farmers is above 45 years.

But many are over sixty.

In addition, young people generally do not view agriculture as a viable occupation.

As a result, relatively few become farmers.

Caribbean countries have been encouraging their citizens to grow more of what they eat and eat more of that they grow to reduce food imports and improve food security.

However, a recent food security and livelihoods survey conducted by the World Food Programme and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in the Caribbean region revealed that 3.7 million people, or 52 percent of the population of the English-speaking Caribbean, remain food insecure.

The region wants to reduce imports by 25 percent by 2025, including strengthening Caribbean food systems to make them resilient and adaptive to shocks.

At the same time, CARICOM hopes to build on measures to address the affordability, accessibility, and availability of livelihood inputs.

 

 

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Sorry CARDI. It will be like pulling teeth trying to get some of those lazy characters in the field. As a matter of fact, I know quite a few who can farm on family land, however, they prefer to beg in Castries. The older people’s work ethic is as different as night and day.
    Farming is lucrative even with its downsides like diseases, drought, theft and unreliable workers. If one can have a year where all factors are a GO, then the sky is the limit. To get many of those young guys to farm, have WiFi available in the field. Make allowance for them to burn a couple blunts before work starts. The sun a constant 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Take it from a guy who is constantly on the road.

  2. Again … Agriculture is always portrayed as a food only industry when it is way beyond that scope. Horticulture and aquaculture are also part of agriculture.

    Agriculture also involves health and well-being industries, confectionery, furniture, textiles – whatever one can touch, agriculture is involved.

    It is high time to get away from the “in the box” culture manifested in agriculture. It is time to expand, to make it viable and exciting.

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