(Front Row L -R) Stephen Gardner – Advisor to the Prime Minister; Farook Hosein – Permanent Secretary; Ministry of Youth Development and National Service (MYDNS); Senator, the Honourable Avinash Singh -Minister in the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries; Mr. Haimdath Ramoutar – Deputy Permanent Secretary, MYDNS, Professor Clement Imbert – Chairman, University of Trinidad and Tobago, Professor Prakash Persad – UTT and Mrs. Gachelle Gilkes-Edwards, Programme Coordinator MYDNS and YAHP Participants stand with participants of the 1st YAHP Part-Time Cohort

On Thursday, February 23, 2022, the Ministry of Youth Development and National Service (MYDNS) conducted the orientation session for the first cohort of 200 young people for the Youth Agricultural Homestead Programme (YAHP), Part Time Training Cycle at the at the Government Campus Plaza in Port of Spain.

 “Our goal is to create a cadre of 21st Century agri-entrepreneurs, in a sector that specially requires your contribution for our country’s sustainable development future. It is critical for us to boost as well as to sustain the national agricultural sector. This has significant implications for each and every one of us”. These were the words of Minister in the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, Senator the Honourable Avinash Singh as he delivered the feature address, on behalf of the Minister of Youth Development and National Service, the Honourable Foster Cummings.

The Youth Agricultural Homestead Programme is a two-year training programme that affords young people between the ages of 18 and 35 the opportunity to become successful 21st century agribusiness entrepreneurs. The part-time programme, specifically offers participants, 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. 

The YAHP 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.

Mrs. Gachelle Gilkes-Edwards, Programme Coordinator at the MYDNS in her welcome remarks congratulated the participants of the first cohort of the YAHP – Part Time Training Cycle. Mrs. Gilkes-Edwards encouraged the participants utilise the YAHP to become “successful agri-entrepreneurs” who will “ensure the people of Trinidad and Tobago will have access to nutritious food”.

Ms. Jazthia Tkiah Edwards, YAHP – full time student representative also spoke at the event and highlighted her remarkable achievements in the programme thus far. She shared, “This programme provides exposure to different farming operations, systems and agribusinesses which broadened and refined our outlook on agriculture”. 

Also in attendance were Mr. Farook Hosein, Permanent Secretary, Mr. Haimdath Ramoutar, Deputy Permanent Secretary MYDNS and Professor Clement Imbert, Chairman, University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT). 

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.