Youth Day 2021 “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health”

Young people of Trinidad and Tobago,

Today, the Ministry of Youth Development and National Service (MYDNS) joins the global community in commemorating International Youth Day (IYD), 2021.

Sanctioned by the United Nations and celebrated each year on August 12, IYD highlights various issues surrounding the world’s youth, bringing them to the attention of the international community and celebrating the potential of youth, as partners in today’s global society.
This year’s Theme, “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health”, seeks to amplify youth efforts collectively and individually to restore the planet and protect life, while integrating bio-diversity in the transformation of food systems: a global effort that will not be achieved without the meaningful participation of young people.

The Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and the Ministry of Youth Development and National Service (MYDNS) is keenly aware of the gravity of this matter, thus, have made it a priority to edify our youth population and equip them with the requisite tools to navigate such.

We have carefully curated- with your input- our National Youth Policy 2020-2025, which highlights 8 Strategic Pillars; one of which speaks to “Emphasising youth contributions to rural transformation, agricultural production, and food security”.

This Pillar identifies youth as the future of agriculture and rural development, and seeks to ensure that youth participation in agricultural production is prioritised and incentivised across the value chain.

The MYDNS hopes to realise this through strategic youth development interventions, including engaging YOUth in the development of policies and strategies to address the impact of climate change and food insecurity; facilitating youth leadership in the development and implementation of a digital agricultural policy; and developing and implementing policies and programmes that facilitate entrepreneurial farming among rural youth.

It is often said that the most progressive and stable chance we have at a sustainable future is through the empowerment, elevation, and education of our country’s youth resource. Thus, as the Minister responsible for the urgent needs of this diverse subset of our population, I sincerely pledge the Ministry’s commitment to helping YOUth make meaningful contributions to our country’s sustainable development; providing you with strategic opportunities to amplify your individual and communal efforts to transform food systems and restore the planet and protect life.

Bill Gates once said, “As we look into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others”. This IYD 2021, I implore each young person to be their brother’s keeper; empower and positively guide one another; seek out and share opportunities for personal and collective development; and explore meaningful youth engagement in strategic areas of concern. Help us to bolster YOUth as the next generation of National and World leaders.

The MYDNS team remains resolute in contributing to the positive development of young people and will strategically engage them as active citizens and co-creators of our country’s sustainable future.
On behalf of the Ministry of Youth Development and National Service and the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, I wish each of you – Happy International Youth Day 2021!

May God Bless you and may God bless our Nation!