Government earmarks a million dollars for National Youth in Agriculture programme

Ministers at head table

The Government has earmarked one million dollars for the National Youth in Agriculture programme (NAYA) in support of young people involved in agriculture.

The information was disclosed by Minister for Housing and Urban Development Melissa Poponne-Skerrit who represented Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit at the re-launch of NAYA held at the State House Conference Center on Friday.

“To get them on their way the government offers startup assistance in the form of inputs, greenhouses, planting materials, and technical support,” she said. “We have taken into consideration the economic constraints facing many of our aspiring farmers which restrict their participation in the sector. This includes lack of access to credit and arable land as well as technical capacity.”

She continued, “And in a direct response in fiscal year 2022 -2023 the government earmarked one million dollars in support to young people with the drive and passion to set up their first farms or to modernize and expand their current farm facilities.”

According to her, to date with the launch of this programme the government has begun to operationalize this facility.

This, Poponne-Skerrit said, represents a new platform for job creation, more youth will be able to generate gainful employment for themselves, feed their communities and earn a dignified living for their families.

Minister of Culture, Youth, Sports and Community Development, Gretta Roberts said she has a deep appreciation for the impact of agriculture on rural lives and economies.

 “In these communities agriculture has always been the lifeblood of our local economies,” she stated. “I am therefore in full support of any venture, any government initiative that targets our young people and encourages them to get involved in the sector.”

Minister Roberts pointed out that the prominent elder farmers in these communities and across Dominica have done their share and have been major contributors to the country’s economy.

“But they need a new crop of young farmers with the passion, the fresh ideas, the technical skills…,” she noted. “I look forward to the success of this programme.”

She continued, “The National Youth in Agriculture Programme is the ideal launchpad for the renewal, the reset of our agriculture sector.”

Meanwhile, NAYA was endorsed by President of the Dominica National Youth Council (DNYC), Phael Lander.

He described agriculture as one of the most important sectors for creating employment, food security, sustaining rural livelihoods, and generating foreign exchange.

“It is a well-known fact that the backbone of our country is villages,” he said. “A country’s rural areas depend on agriculture for their livelihood.”

Lander believes that the youth in Dominica must, therefore, be aware of the importance of agriculture and its various aspects.”

“They should be encouraged to take up agriculture as a career,” he noted.

Furthermore, he pointed out that despite the rapid advancements in technological urbanization of the world, agriculture remains at the core of human existence.

He said, however, the agriculture sector has often been overlooked as an area where young people may find their passion and purpose.

“Today I am here to inspire you to view agriculture as an opportunity, an opportunity not only for personal development but also for creating a lasting impact on society and the environment,” Lander encouraged.

NAYA was created in 2003 as an advocacy group to increase youth involvement in agriculture and agribusiness.

Note: The full launching ceremony is provided in the link below. Compliments of GIS Facebook Page.

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  1. Ibo France
    April 2, 2023

    To Melissa With All Sincerity

    Agriculture is a very consequential pursuit. This is not a Don & Diva affair. Allow serious and experienced people to carry this torch. You have never planted as much as a pumpkin seed.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  2. Maxwells
    April 2, 2023

    No doubt that most of the money will be allocated to DLP ‘farmers’ that do not even own a square foot of land to farm on. We had it all before. It’s the same every 2 years. New ideas – not a chance! Just rhetoric and propaganda…

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  3. Trust Me
    April 1, 2023

    What passes as the government of Dominica is in very hot water and no matter what they try to say truth is the pressure keeps building on them. They can try to hide it, put a plaster over it or even bandage it that won’t change an iota.
    You see that President Donald Trump that was arrested in the US and we know that a Russian friend of Skerrit operated an offshore bank in Dominica and that bank was used to give Trump media $8 million dollars in secret? Watch out Dominica because it’s going to get nasty. Remember Russia meddling in the US 2016 election? Remember around that same time Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani was asked by 5 US senators about what work he did for some countries including Dominica? You remember Skerrit went to Russia around that time to meet with Putin and other officials and he said he was going to build a bridge between Russia and the Caribbean? Hmm
    You see that Chinese national by the name of Just-in Sun that’s in IS custody and is a known friend of pM ? Trust me

  4. Ibo France
    April 1, 2023

    This specific initiative concerning agriculture was disclosed by Melissa, the ‘minister’ for Housing and Urban Development. What does this have to do with housing and the development of urban development? The ministers of agriculture and youth affairs are the ones to be spotlighting this plan of action.

    Giving Melissa a prepared script to announce this plan is like giving a former footballer to do running commentary on a live hockey game. As I said previously, this was done with the sole intention of giving the public the fallacious impression that Melissa is an active and capable member of the cabal. You can’t squeeze water from a stone.

  5. Ibo France
    April 1, 2023

    Any assistance young agricultural enthusiasts can get to start or sustain their interest and business is a plus for the country. There is a need not only for tools, seeds and seedlings, fencing wires and poles, fertilizers, but a network of feeder roads to open up new farmlands.

    $1M is a good start but just a drop in the bucket. However, my greatest concern is Melissa heading up this initiative. Anything this lady does is problematic. Let’s not forget the contraption that came tumbling down on the Bay Front that almost ended in tragedy.

    This lady is such a politically polarizing animal that there will be no consideration for fairness in the distribution of the resources. This initiative will be mostly about lifting Melissa’s sorry, dinged profile than helping the farmers.

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