Youth in Agriculture – a ‘win-win’

─ valuable investment into entrepreneurship

DPI, Guyana, Friday, October 18, 2019

Agriculture in Guyana will always remain a bulwark of Guyana’s economy, as it is a primary income earner from many in the country.

Ever mindful of the scores of young people exploring the options of self-employment and managing businesses of their own, the Ministry of Agriculture sees youth in agriculture as a viable way forward. This will allow youths to learn a trade while establishing a business and training and empowering others in the process.

There is the push for young men and women to choose agriculture and students of secondary schools have been the target. As they choose a stream of study upon entering the tenth grade, agriculture has been promoted to be the most beneficial in time to come.

During an ‘Open Day’ event hosted by the Agri-Ministry at the compounds of National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI), the Guyana School of Agriculture (GSA), and the Guyana Livestock and Development Authority (GLDA), the Department of Public Information (DPI) spoke to several GSA students. They shared their thoughts on the ministry’s thrust to have more youths learning and being actively involved in the agriculture sector.

Learmond Braithwaite, currently undergoing a course in Veterinary Public Health, said he is happy that the government has seen it fit to promote agriculture. Further, he believes it will be the biggest sector in Guyana followed by the oil industry.

“Agriculture will never be in short supply, there will always be a need for animals, foodstuff… what we learnt in Veterinary Public Health is to not only focus on the animal but to look at the value-added aspect as well; for example, how to process chickens to go further perhaps setting up a business… in the end, I will not only be a Veterinarian but an entrepreneur as well.”

His colleague, Christina Cheeks, in the same programme said, “Agriculture is a very important sector here in our country, and I am now learning of its importance since I have been here at GSA. Before, my line of study was totally different. There is so much to do in agriculture, whether it be crop-wise or animal-wise.”

During the day’s activity, it was highlighted that in the emerging sub-sector of apiculture, there is a slew of opportunities waiting to present itself. When persons hear about bees, they think honey, but there is more to this resource than that.

Bees play a major role in pollinating plants which help in the provision of critical foods for our diets. Apart from that, by-products are vast, ranging from the honey itself to soaps, beeswax and other hair and skincare products, all of which are produced locally.

Tiffany Trim, a young employee of Guyana Prison Service, is currently a student of the apiculture programme at GSA. She explained, “the prison service sent me here to study full time so I could go back and train inmates, so they can contribute meaningfully to society and improved their lives by becoming entrepreneurs.”

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