CARICOM Secretary-General Dr. Carla Barnett told youths across the Community on Saturday that the Region needed them to transform systems and achieve food security goals.
She was one of the speakers at a Youth Dialogue in Guyana.
The dialogue was one of the three-day CARICOM Agri Youth Forum and Expo events, which concluded on Saturday.
Barnett cited an absence of the skills needed to move the agriculture sector forward.
“Our young people, all of you, must rise and answer this call,” the CARICOM official declared.
“Your country, our Region, CARICOM, is calling on you. This is your time to contribute to the Region. There is no need to leave the Region for economic prosperity and opportunity. It is right here! ” Barnett stated.
“Your role in agriculture is one of massive possibility, not only to grow more food but to transform local food systems with all the available technologies and build economies that can help lift entire communities out of poverty,” she said.
According to Barnett, Agriculture goes well beyond farming and is one of the areas which involves a wide variety of employment opportunities, including some of the highest paid jobs in the world.
She disclosed that there are almost 20 million direct and indirect jobs related to agriculture across the globe.
The CARICOM Secretary-General explained that agriculture also lends itself to self-employment and becoming your own boss.
“With the correct planning, support and effort, you can reap rewards within a reasonable timeframe,” she said.
However, the CARICOM official pointed out that it will take many hours of dedication, determination, and a lot of commitment, like any endeavor.
“Agriculture today is built on technology. It involves data, artificial intelligence, digital technology, drone technologies, applied science, and market intelligence. It, therefore, provides high-value jobs that cut across all aspects of the economy,” she observed.
And Barnett observed that young people’s affinity with technology, having grown up in the technological age, creates opportunities in all aspects of the agro-industry.