Friday 30 October, 2020

Gov’t to establish young farmers’ school

The Sugar Cane Feed Centre in Longdenville has been earmarked for use as the first school for young farmers.

Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat made the disclosure during his contribution to debate on the budget in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

The former Canadian-funded project is tasked with demonstration, training, development, research and teaching in integrated agricultural production systems for sustainable food production and food safety.

The SFC also uses local and on-farm forage and crop resources together with agro by-products for animal feeding and crop production.

The Minister said a working curriculum will be developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth Development.

He said: “With the creation of the Ministry of Youth Development and the interest I’ve seen with young people in becoming hands-on farmers, we’ve decided that that facility in Sugar Cane Feed Centre in Longdenville will be the first young farmers’ school in Trinidad and Tobago.”

“We will develop with the new Ministry of Youth Development a curriculum to support the teaching of agriculture across this country using our own resources in the Ministry existing in UTT and ECIAF.”

Rambharat said youth from the catchment area will have the opportunity to gain hands-on skills.

He assured that the use of the facility to house the farmers’ school won’t affect any of the jobs the SFC currently offers.

The Minister said the intention is to compete head-on with imports. Through NAMDEVCO, competitive, comparable products will be offered alongside imports.

He said this would allow the Ministry to sustain farmers and effectively compete with imported products.

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