200 Youth Selected for Part Time Cycle of Homestead Programme

The Honourable Foster Cummings – Minister of Youth Development and National Service (Centre) stands with Senator Kazim Hosein – Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, Mr. Narine Charran – Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth Development; Mrs. Savitri Balkaran – Deputy Permanent Secretary, MYDNS along with partners and participants of the Youth Agricultural Homestead Programme.

On Tuesday, February 27, 2024, the Ministry of Youth Development and National Service (MYDNS) conducted its third orientation session for up to 200 young people, for the Youth Agricultural Homestead Programme (YAHP), Part Time Training Cycle at the Government Campus Plaza in Port of Spain.

The Honourable Foster Cummings – Minister of Youth Development and National Service, who gave the feature address, highlighted the steps to be taken in order for registrants to earn and enjoy the benefits of YAHP. Minister Cummings said “We are allocating idle state lands, developing it and give it to you – as long as you successfully complete your programme at the University of Trinidad and Tobago and you will become 21st century agro-entrepreneurs.”

Minister Cummings further stated “You are going to get mentors to work with you, farmers who have the experience and know how, to guide you along the way. We are going to give you two acres per successful trainee, and you will pay not one red cent for it.”

Zachery Ransome, Junior Soca Monarch Winner 2024 gave an electrifying performance
Ms. Aneshia Beach – Programme Coordinator, Project Implementation Unit, YAHP- MYDNS

Ms. Aneshia Beach – Programme Coordinator – Project Implementation Unit, at the MYDNS in her remarks stated “In June 2023, a significant achievement occurred as 172 students from the initial full-time cohort successfully obtained their certifications in Agriculture and Agro-processing Technologies. Additionally, in March 2024, the inaugural part-time cohort will also be awarded certificates by the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT), enabling them to continue their training with NEDCO and NAMDEVCO, as well as participate in internships and field visits across Trinidad and Tobago.”

Mr. Narine Charran, Permanent Secretary, Ministry Youth Development and National Service

Mr. Narine Charran – Permanent Secretary of the MYDNS, spoke about the keen interest of youth in the programme in his Welcome Remarks, “For this intake, we were extremely oversubscribed. In fact, for each of you seated here this morning, there were seven (7) other persons who wanted to be where you are.”

The YAHP is done in collaboration with partners such as UTT, NEDCO, NAMDEVCO, LSA, the Ministry of Agriculture Land and Fisheries, the Commissioner of State Lands, the ADB, who collaboratively contribute to the success of YAHP. The Programme offers comprehensive training in crop production and animal husbandry in the first year. On completion, successful trainees will gain access to land, technical and financial support, to prepare for the second year of training. Year 2 will offer practical training on the land assigned to each trainee. YAHP  affords young people from the ages of 18 and 35 who are either employed or self-employed, the opportunity to learn agricultural practices via virtual (week-day) and in-person (weekend) classes, creating a more convenient and flexible avenue for persons to contribute to the sustainable development of our local agricultural sector. 

Also in attendance were Senator the Honourable Kazim Hosein, Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, Mrs. Shanmatee Singh Ng Sang, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, Ms. Jacqueline Charles, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mr. Wayne Inniss, Chairman of the Land Settlement Agency, Mr. Hazar Hosein, Chief Executive Officer, Land Settlement Agency, Mr. Calvin Maurice, Chief Executive Officer, National Entrepreneurship Development Company Limited, and Dr. Marlon Knights, Professor, University of Trinidad and Tobago.

The Ministry of Youth Development and National Service (MYDNS) remains committed to bringing all stakeholders together to promote youth development and encourages civic-minded citizens to contribute to national service across Trinidad and Tobago.