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FAO pushes investment in youth agricultural entrepreneurs at Caribbean Week of Agriculture

Oficina Regional de la FAO para América Latina y el Caribe, 26 Oct 2016

October 26, 2016

FAO joined forces with IICA to launch the competition "Financial investment in Young Agri-preneurs". The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations and its partners are ensuring that youth involvement in Caribbean agriculture is encouraged through initiatives such as social media training and financial investment in young Agri-preneurs.

FAO joined forces with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) to launch an exciting competition entitled – Financial investment in Young Agri-preneurs (FIYA) during Tuesday's seminar on Agri-business Development in the Caribbean: Successes, Innovations and Impact at the Caribbean week of Agriculture in the Cayman Islands. The CWA is one of the region's premier agricultural events and has attracted 250 delegates from over 15 Caribbean countries and several islands in the Pacific.

"This seminar promoted agribusiness development in the Caribbean by sharing successful business cases, identifying support needed to strengthen relationships between chain actors and the tourism industry," said Dr. Fletcher-Paul, FAO Regional Coordinator for the Caribbean, while adding that, farmers are the biggest source of investment in agriculture, with farmers in low and middle income countries investing about US$170 billion per year on their own farms.

The launch of the competition was covered by a group of 15 social media reporters from seven Caribbean countries under an initiative by FAO's partner, the Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation (CTA) to boost youth interest in agricultural issues. These reporters are young people involved in agriculture in their country and who were selected to participate in a two day social media training workshop two days prior to the start of CWA to enable them to use their skills at the weeklong meeting.

"This is a step in the right direction. I am very excited to be a part of this because our tweets, blogs and Facebook posts are getting attention from youth that were not previously interested in agriculture,' said Nolana Lynch, a Trinidadian agri-preneur who owns an online story providing eco-products.

"In this age social media is the new conventional media for youth so it's important to be sharing about agricultural through that avenue," said Mikhail Brentnol Amsterdam, another youth involved in agriculture from Guyana.

"Social media keeps us connected as a region – we can share what happens in each other's worlds," said Amram Lemoth, a Youth Agricultural officer from Belize. "Activities like the training and exposure at CWA helps to build our confidence as young people in agriculture."

"All the institutions have to come together to see how we work together... let's talk a lot more about what is working and what we should be building on as positive experiences to move forward, " said Michael Hailu, Director at CTA.

CTA, FAO, Caribbean Agribusiness Association (CABA) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) are the main partners hosting the Agri-business seminar.

In addition to its participation in the seminar on Agri-business development in the Caribbean: Successes, Innovations on Tuesday, FAO also hosted two other seminars on Governance and Public Policy in Food and Nutrition Security and linkages between Trade and Transport within CARICOM. CWA runs until Friday, October 28.

For further information on the Caribbean Week of Agriculture please visit the http://www.cwa2016cayman.com/