In a Nutshell

Youth and Agriculture YiA

Youth in Agriculture outh griculture

In a Nutshell

June 2006

In a Nutshell

In a Nutshell is designed to stimulate interest and inform
on issues and topics of importance to sustainable agricultural development in Caribbean countries. This is the age where knowledge and information are critical for success. Information is central to our decisions, social interactions and economic actions. It informs and educates us to those attributes that will empower and enable us to sustain ourselves and flourish, instead of merely existing. This issue focuses on issues relating to sustaining youth interest and activity in the ‘new’ agriculture, whether as policy makers, leaders, development change agents and the new ‘agri-preneurs’. Youth, along with women, must participate fully as development proceeds. They cannot allow themselves to be marginalized; but must take a more proactive and assertive role in the social and economic development process. They are Our Hope . . . . Our Future! Young people everywhere ▫ are key agents for social change, economic development and technological innovation ▫ are a social and demographic group at risk with an uncertain future, even though they represent society’s greatest hope. ▫ should live under conditions that encourage their imagination, ideals, energy and vision to flourish to the benefit of their societies ▫ are confronted by a paradox: to seek to be integrated into the existing society or to serve as a force to transform it. ▫ have aspirations and want to participate fully in the development of their societies
From Youth at the United Nations,

In a Nutshell


YUT! – Our GeNx (Generation Next)
Young people everywhere are key agents for social change, economic development and technological innovation. The boundaries of agriculture are rapidly expanding and will need innovative, exited and motivated people who are . . .


Young Original Unique Talented Hopeful

In grooming our GeNx for agriculture, their: restless nature must be channelled to lead the change process; energies must be harnessed to effectively tackle challenges of development; creativity must be nurtured to drive innovation and grow an idea into a successful career or business.

The ‘Things to Do’ checklist for growing agriculture’s generation next is long and inexhaustive. But topping the Agenda must be: integrated national policies that attract, empower and enable their involvement in agriculture; specialised public-private sector programmes and support facilities that are practical, accessible and relevant to their needs; opportunities for sustainable livelihoods and improved quality of life from agribusiness. Giving YOUTH the right tools, entrepreneurship and leadership training will place the business and future of agriculture on a fresh, innovative and firm footing. .

In a Nutshell


Your Future – in the Hands of YOUTH
Young people everywhere are a social and demographic group that represent society’s greatest hope. They need an enabling environment, good support and your time! The actions to trigger the change process must start now–

. . . . . with the YOUTH and YOU
Today’s YOUTH have unprecedented advantages: improved access to higher and innovative education and continue to have higher levels of schooling; more profound understanding of nature, driving their creative use of natural resources to generate wealth while preserving the environment; better and more dynamic conditions to incubate ideas and innovate to explore all possibilities; broader range of opportunities in all aspects of life and livelihoods due to globalisation and technological advances. What can YOUTH do for YOUTH? Yuz all resources and tools to sharpen leadership qualities! Open up to voices of experience, even opposing views! Understand that everything cannot be done at once or at the same time! Think thoroughly and strategically before taking action! …..and above all appreciate that Hindsight (wisdom after the event) is 2020. Spoken and written words cannot be unsaid! YOUTH, Invest in YOURSELF!

In a Nutshell


Give YOUTH a Voice - Now
Young people everywhere have aspirations and want to participate fully in the development of their societies. The modern world has changed the way societies interact, organise and participate in this process. It has created a clear, present and absolute need to. . .

. . . . listen to the YOUTH
Growth and development require good policies and strategies (GPS). Good agriculture policies and strategies (GAPS) need true representation and full participation, especially from YOUTH. They should and must be consulted and heard! Empowering YOUTH to embrace and drive change will require strong and mutually-reinforcing social, economic and governance systems and infrastructure. It will require innovative education and an environment that enables continuous learning. It must encourage full participation in decisions and actions that directly or indirectly affect their quality of life and livelihoods. It will require the time, effort and good will of others! What can Others do for YOUTH? Offer practical advice and strategies to get them involved! Train them to become good leaders and entrepreneurs! Help them to stay the course; don’t abandon them halfway! Encourage their creativity, ideas and good practices! Respond to their needs positively and timely! Safeguard their future; sustain their well-being! Invest in our YOUTH!

In a Nutshell


Grow YOUTH Agri-preneurs Today
Young people everywhere should live under conditions that encourage their imagination, ideals, energy and, vision to flourish to the benefit of their societies. Science-based and high-tech 21st century agriculture offers a variety of possibilities and opportunities to. . .

. . . . grow enterprising YOUTH
In today’s business environment, ‘entrepreneurship’ is considered the new, basic, must-have skill. YOUTH entrepreneurs must be cultivated, nurtured and supported to add value to existing natural resources, find alternative ways to use these resources to produce innovative products and to grow successful businesses. They must become the new agripreneurs! There is definitely a bright future unfolding for the expanding Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources industries in Caribbean countries and beyond. But the policies, programmes, production, processes, products and partnerships of the ‘new agri-culture’ must be built on, with, by and for the YOUTH.

“I see a renaissance for agriculture, making it one of the most efficient and technologically advanced industries, efficient and economically viable, environmentally conscious, while meeting the desires of consumers. The potential and opportunities exist. It’s for us youth to transform these and make a New Agriculture a reality”. Omari
Soares (Jamaica), Winner of the IICA Essay Competition 2006

In a Nutshell


Groom YOUTH Leaders for Tomorrow
Young people everywhere are confronted by a paradox: to seek to be integrated into the existing society or to serve as a force to transform it. They must become good leaders to effectively integrate and/or transform. Having good human qualities, knowing how to use these qualities and a vision to do what needs to be done are essential tools to. . .

. . . make leaders out of YOUTH
Developing the human and social capital of YOUTH leaders opens doors for them to more effectively represent their needs and participate more fully and effectively in the development process. YOUTH leaders may lack experience and the ability to influence. They must overcome these limitations by: educating themselves and keeping informed on all issues that potentially affect their lives and livelihoods; participating in policy dialogue and development of programmes that could affect their potential and opportunities; thinking strategically and acting responsibly given the range of issues that impact on and result from their choices, decisions and actions; strategic positioning – placing themselves ‘in the right place at the right time’. Leadership is NOT management, which is based on learned skills for planning, organisation, communication and evaluation. It cannot be picked up in one workshop or by just reading a book. Cultivating YOUTH leaders takes positioning, patience and practice.
Malcolm Wallace, CAFY President, 2005.

In a Nutshell



Some Opportunities for YiA
A career or employment in agriculture does not have to be farming or food production. The possibilities are endless and continuously evolving. Decide wisely and position yourself! Imagine what you can do. . do what you can imagine! “ B e co m e a L ea d e r ” o r “B e Y ou r O w n B o s s” !

Become a Leader!

Be Your Own Boss!

. . . in traditional, specialist & cutting edge skills:
on Land:
- Agronomist, develop new crop varieties, analyze soils - Forester, manage woodlands and forest development;

. . . in the diverse and dynamic opportunities:
In Production:
- ‘Hi-Tech’ farming, e.g. greenhouse technologies (undercover), hydroponics (“dirtless”); - Specialist producer of herbals and organics for food ingredients, additives, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics etc; - Specialist food and beverages (sports drinks, health foods, baby foods; meal replacements etc.; - Producer of bio-fuels, chemicals and other industrial products from plant and animal extracts; - Exotic fish producer (aquarium for hotels, offices, etc) In Services: - Floral and fruit arrangement designs and display themes for events; - ‘Agri-tainment’ centre providing alternative (farm-, eco-) tours and experiences; - Landscape engineer- design, maintain outdoor and indoor gardens, lawns, golf courses, parks, etc. - Agricultural Communicator (journalist, promotions, training); - Pet shop operator; Servicing Producers: - Nursery and Propagation centre (supplying improved crop varieties) - Procure, supply and service farm and factory, machinery and equipment and other inputs - Business Management and Consumer Information; - Technical Advisory Services for Business (business plans, investment guides etc) - Damage Assessments and Claims Adjusting (post disasters), - Sales Marketing .... and many more products and services for all sizes of business

in Water:
- Aquaculturalist, develop fish farming, examine fish disease; - Fisheries & Marine Scientist, effective management, use and conservation of aquatic plants, animals and ecosystems; - Hydrologist, protect and improve water supplies and quality;

for the Environment:
- Climatologist, study climate change and variability; - Ecologist, identify and mitigate environmental problems;

In Industry:
- Agricultural Engineer- solve problems; design machinery; - Animal Health and Veterinary Medicine; - Biosystems engineer, develop biodegradables products, design equipment to produce pharmaceuticals; - Food Process Engineer, research and develop new and existing products and processes; bio-security; - Food Scientist, assure food flavour, appearance, nutritional quality, safety; - Nutritionist, link food, nutrition and health to improve lives;

In Research:
- Biochemist- develop new products; - Biotechnologist/Geneticist, ‘create’ new breeds and strains; - Bio-prospector, identify plant and animal extracts;

In Policy and Planning:
- Agricultural Economist, plan the development process - Project Manager, design and manage projects; - Trade Negotiator, influence external conditions for business;

.... and many more

In a Nutshell


Secure YOUR Future . . . . Invest in the YOUTH!
YOUTH in the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources system around the world are people with an interest and appreciation for plants, animals and the environment, who want to make a difference in the world’s oldest, largest and most diverse industry and have a contribution to make in school and/or at work. Growing Agripreneurs and Grooming Leaders are essential investments needed to empower YOUTH to make that difference. YOUTH Agri-preneurs must be nurtured and provide with the resources needed to grow an idea into a business. YOUTH leaders must be empowered and positioned in areas that provide public goods and benefits to agriculture, the economy and society. Make a difference in Agriculture’s Future!

Secure YOUR Future - Invest in our YOUTH!

Start at the beginning

In Schools!

Changes in population demographics, advances in science and technology and the importance of health and life sciences, food security and environmental issues will create opportunities for well educated and trained YOUTH with strong management, business, technical and communication skills.

In a Nutshell


Projects that Grow YOUTH Agripreneurs
The Project: The Gilbert Agricultural and Rural Development Centre –GARDC Antigua and Barbuda. The Pioneers: The Trust of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas started GARDC as the Young Farmers Training Project and continues to own and manage the Centre. The Principle: “Learn by Doing!” It provides training in practical agriculture and demonstrates and promotes farming as a worthy and viable occupation. In Practice: The training provided by GARDC involves life skills, outreach, commodity and specialised courses. . Specifically: training and demonstrating sustainable, eco-friendly agricultural technologies and processes; training young people in agricultural entrepreneurial skills; promoting and demonstrating the use of small farm equipment and tools; operating self-sustaining and income generating farm projects; promoting the farm as tourism sites. The Pay-Offs: ▪ Increased number of youth in farming and other agricultural related ventures. ▪ Providing youth with positive alternatives to crime, drugs, prostitution etc. ▪ Increased number of youth with income generating capabilities.

In a Nutshell


Projects that Groom YOUTH Leaders
The Project: Agricultural Youth Forum. The Promoters: IICA initiated formation of a Regional Agricultural Youth in 2002 and continues to support the development of national Chapters in Caribbean member states. The Principle: “Integrating Learn by Doing!” It facilitates participation of youth in national and regional policy dialogue and advocacy in agriculture. In Practice: The Caribbean Agricultural Forum for Youth (CAFY) and its national chapters: promote life skills and livelihoods for YiA members; promote and lobby for enabling national YiA policies and projects; facilitate participation in leadership and entrepreneurship training to empower YiA; participate and represent YiA in national, regional and international dialogue; network and strengthen links with other Youth organizations. The Pay-Offs: Formal representation of YiA issues in major national and regional policy dialogue; Sharper focus on the needs of YiA in the development process Enhanced integration of YiA issues in policy formulation planning; Greater involvement in planning and implementing YiA activities; Improved participation and ownership of YiA in development.

In a Nutshell


Projects for YOUTH Leaders and Agripreneurs
The Project: The Youth Farm Stand, New Jersey, USA The Pioneers: Faculty and Staff from 3 Rutgers Cooperative Extension, 4 Local Schools and several agencies working together. The Principle: Experience is the best teacher! It provides hands-on entrepreneurial experience to youth in the mechanics of owning and operating a small business. In Practice: Pre-Farmstand Training in customer service, produce identification, safety, marketing, nutrition, business basics, purchasing and inventory, money management and banking; Farmstand Operations during an 8-week period in the summer for practical entrepreneurial experience; Weekly Supplemental Activities, e.g., lectures, field trips on food systems, career planning, entrepreneurship opportunities, character education, goal setting and decision making The Pay-Offs: YOUTH will increase workforce readiness skills, entrepreneurial skills and attitudes, knowledge of the agriculture and food systems components and processes, awareness of entrepreneurial and employment opportunities in agriculture. Local Farmers will open new markets, increase sales via distribution and promotion (branded Jersey Fresh) and identify speciality or niche markets within local communities. Communities will have access to affordable, high quality produce in convenient locations and expand ‘ready work’ labour pool.

For details see the Rutgers Cooperative Research and Extension (RCRE) Youth Farmstand Program uthfarmstand/

In a Nutshell


Transforming YouTH – A Guide
Transforming YouTH into successful agripreneurs and leaders is a challenging, continuous and delicate social responsibility.
The TEMPLATES1 concept provides a useful tool in ensuring that critical success factors are considered in designing and implementing YiA initiatives. T–Tenacity: Successful youth programmes must have clearly described and measurable objectives and require persistence and commitment. E–Entrepreneurship: The interests and ability for business must already exist among YouTH if entrepreneurship programmes are to be successful. M–Mentorship: Experience is the best teacher! Mentorship programmes must stimulate interest by using role models, celebrities and lifestyles which appeal to YouTH. P–Promotion: Continuous positive messages about agriculture as a good option will create awareness, enhance understanding, stimulate interest and open possibilities. L–Linkage: Programmes for YiA should be integrally connected to their communities, schools, other sectors, the environment and consumers. A–Access: Since they have not yet accumulated resources YouTH will need adequate and ready financing and other resources to start careers and business. T–Training: All other careers and businesses need well skilled human resources. 21st century agriculture is not for the un-educated and unskilled. YiA must be trained. E–Evaluation: Given the dynamics of agriculture, all YiA initiatives must be fully evaluated using practical and measurable targets indicators to arrive at best practices. S–Socialisation: Children learn what they live; Children live what they learn. Nurture appropriate social skills, good attitudes and teamwork.


TEMPLATES by Steve Maximay (2005)

In a Nutshell


In a Nutshell
Today’s YOUTH are tomorrow’s GenX. Do not ignore or marginalize them. They are the key agents of and for change – our Future! . . . Recognise Them! Today’s YOUTH represent society’s greatest hope! They are already bringing about social change and influencing the development process. . . . Guide Them! Today’s YOUTH have aspirations and high expectations. They want to participate in decision-making and contribute to development. . . . Empower Them!
Today’s YOUTH are more innovative, driven and active. They need to be challenged and provided with opportunities to grow and flourish. . . . Enable Them! Secure YOUR Future! Safeguard Agriculture! Invest and Grow more YiA! Give them. . . . ▪ the right training and tools! ▪ the benefit of your experience! ▪ your time and commitment! ▪ a nurturing environment!

In a Nutshell


Issue #11 June 2006 ISSN-0245-4746 A2/TT/06 Prepared by Diana Francis Regional Specialist Trade Policy and Negotiations Programme IICA Caribbean Region Research by Kelly Belgrove Consultant and Richard Rampersaud Research Assistant Production and Printing CTP Services & Supplies

This issue is printed with financing from the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation

For more information, please contact: INTER-AMERICAN INSTITUTE FOR COOPERATION ON AGRICULTURE OFFICE IN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO #3 Herbert Street, Newtown, P.O.Box, 1318 Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago Tel: (868) 628-4403; 4079; 4079

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