From 24th September 04th August, Yentyl Williams, ACP YPN Director and Founder accompanied the COLEACP mission to launch Fit for Market – Caribbean, led by COLEACP’s Regional Coordinator, Mrs. Yessie Meyer. Yentyl provided strategic support with her expertise in the region, with key stakeholders and the success of the mission proved that such institutional partnerships are extremely fruitful. The mission involved the formal FFM launch event in 4 countries (Suriname Trinidad & Tobago, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Barbados) with the relevant Ministries and stakeholders, field visits and follow-up meetings with Ministers and Ministries, Chambers of Commerce, farmers, private sector and regional organisations.
The Fit For Market programme aims to competitiveness and sustainability of the ACP horticultural sector. It’s specific objective is to allow smallholder farmers, producer groups, farmer organisations, and small and medium enterprises, to access international and domestic fruit and vegetable markets by complying with the SPS standards and market requirements, in a sustainable framework. Youth organisations in the horticulture sector are invited to apply. See more and make a request here.
Amongst several visits, the team went to meet with dasheen farmers in the Richland Park & Greigg’s Village areas of mainland St. Vincent to present the type of support COLEACP and the Fit for Market program could provide to their structure (main picture above). Yentyl said, “I am continually inspired not only by the content of COLEACP work but their commitment and dedication to being the change we want to see in the world. Through the partnership with ACP YPN, we work together to ensure that young people will become beneficiaries of EU funded technical assistance programmes in the field of agriculture.”
Unfortunately, it was observed that there is a clear disconnect between youth and agriculture in the region, in part due to history (farming is linked to slavery) and in part due to lack of knowledge on the opportunities of the field, which is narrowly viewed despite the vast value and supply chains related to the field of agriculture. Nevertheless, the team made a few vital interactions were made with youth in agriculture, with the aim to develop and harness youth in agriculture in the region. Watch this space!
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