National Youth in Agriculture symposium slated for February 5

An aerial display of the Northern Caribbean University’s Manchester campus (Photo: Facebook @NCUEducation)

The Jamaica 4-H Clubs will be hosting its inaugural National Youth in Agriculture Symposium on February 5 at the Northern Caribbean University (NCU) in Manchester.

The annual event, which is expected to attract some 3,000 youth from across the island, will be held under the theme: ‘I am Agrismart’. It forms part of Jamaica 4-H Clubs’ thrust to position agriculture as an attractive and exciting career choice for young persons.

Acting Business and Entrepreneurship Development Manager at the Jamaica 4-H Clubs, Villet Kelly-Bennett, explained that the main aim of the symposium is “to rebrand agriculture”.

She indicated that the event will be targeting youth from as young as grade seven up to the tertiary level and active participants in the sector, through entrepreneurship or employment.

“We want the youth to see it (agriculture) as an area, just like any other area or profession that they want to pursue. So, we want to provide that platform where both innovative and interactive knowledge can be shared,” Kelly-Bennett said.

Additionally, she noted that the symposium will also be used as a resource tool for agriculture students sitting the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination, and that the participants will also be schooled on the opportunities that are available for young agriculture entrepreneurs and how they can access them.

“Given the importance of agriculture to food security, we want to ensure that our youth who are venturing into that area will have sufficient and adequate information, and to see opportunities that they themselves can enter the sector and create that change,”she told JIS News.

The event, which will start at 10:00 a.m., following the 8:00 a.m. registration, will feature four concurrent panel discussions, where several topics will be discussed, including entrepreneurship and investment; professional development; agritechnology and innovation; and opportunities in climate change and climate-smart agriculture.

A number of key organisations that provide services to the sector will also have their products and offerings on display.