IICA’s Barbados Youth farm summer programme starts

Thirty candidates from eleven of Barbados’ secondary schools, and a delega-tion of eight persons from Antigua and Barbuda, have embarked on an eight-week intensive training programme coordinated by the Inter-American Insti-tute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) to increase their technical skills in agriculture and to learn how to use low cost agro-technologies to earn an in-come in the agri-food sector.

The delegation from Antigua and Barbuda in-cludes five student candidates and two agri-science teachers who are ex-pected to learn the principles and procedures required to implement the Car-ibbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) in Crop Production Level I.  These young agripreneurs are working towards certification accessible through the Barbados TVET Council for the CVQ in Crop Production Level I, NVQ in Livestock rearing Level I, and CVQ in Aquaculture Grow Out Opera-tions Level 1. This is the ninth installation of the Youth Farm Summer Pro-gramme which first began in 2012 and to date has certified over 200 stu-dents, several of whom have gained employment in the Agri-Food sector as a direct result of this initiative.

During their skills training workshops students will be taught the correct techniques for performing practical farming skills in areas such as crop plan-ning, greenhouse propagation, organic farming methods, postharvest man-agement, agribusiness planning, record keeping, and integrated pest man-agement.

For the livestock rearing and aquaculture electives, the focus will be on nutrition, daily care and observation. Physical farm work is a core compo-nent of the programme, and participants are actively involved in activities such as land preparation, cleaning and feeding animals, and building aquapon-ic systems.

Youth Farm candidates will also participate in Agribusiness Work-shops where they will interact with business mentors and work on their soft skills such as professional etiquette, presentation and communication skills.

The IICA Youth Farm Summer Programme 2022 will be conducted in three lo-cations:

• Crop farming at the Home Agricultural Station in St. Philip

• Livestock rearing at Greenland Research Livestock Station in St. Andrew

• Aquaculture at the Deighton Griffith Memorial School.

In addition, this year the programme is seeking to incorporate current tech-nologies that aid agricultural production and planning.  Youth Farm 2022 fea-tures a Solar Technology Challenge that involves the teams from the three technical areas developing a solar-powered solution to increase efficiency in their farming practice.  Another activity will include introducing candidates to the use of drone technology in farming practices.

The Youth Farm candidates will host public OPEN DAYS for Livestock Rearing on 12th August, Aquaculture on 19th August, and Crop Production on 26th August 2022.  The Youth Farm is administered in collaboration with the Minis-try of Education, Technological, and Vocational Training, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food and Nutritional Security.

The programme started last week Monday and concludes on August 27.  (PR)

Read our ePaper. Fast. Factual. Free.

Sign up and stay up to date with Barbados’ FREE latest news.

Source link