$35m allocated for agri scholarships
The Government will be providing $35 million this year for the provision of agricultural scholarships to students at the secondary and tertiary level through the Rio Tinto Scholarship Fund.
The announcement was made by Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Floyd Green at the virtual launch of the Jamaica 4-H Clubs Virtual Achievement Day Expo held at its Duke Street offices in Kingston on June 16.
Green underscored the importance of youth in the sustainable growth of the agricultural sector, stating that they are a critical element of the new FACE (food security, agribusiness development, climate-smart technologies, and export expansion) of food strategy that was being crafted by the ministry.
As the youth arm of the ministry, he said that the Jamaica 4-H Clubs must provide a platform for young people who are interested in agriculture to move from interest to action.
CELEBRATING YOUNG PEOPLE
The agriculture minister said the National Achievement Day Expo, which will be held on July 2, is critical to the celebration of the young people, the fostering of healthy competition, and for highlighting the ideas of the young people.
He stated further that the ministry is focused on mobilising youth and ensuring that those who want to get involved in agriculture can do so.
The ministry will, therefore, be launching an Advocate Council in July. This council of youth, he said, will meet with him on a quarterly basis and will play an integral role in driving agricultural policies.
‘I believe you must sit with the young people and allow them to shape the plans of the ministry,” Green stressed.
In keeping with Government’s policy to reserve land for youth, Green said the Jamaica 4-H Clubs have been tasked with the responsibility of developing the methodology by which government land that is available for young people will be advertised.
“We have to make it easier to get our young people involved in agriculture by removing some of the barriers, Green stated.
In addition, he said that the recruitment drive has commenced for the expanded Rural Youth Economic Empowerment Programme, targeting 700 young people. This programme will provide business development and agricultural best practices training, a grant of $50,000 as well as mentorship for six months.