A Youth Strategy for Caribbean Agriculture

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A Strategy for Youth Entrepreneurship & Employment in Agriculture: A Caribbean Perspective

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A Youth Strategy for Caribbean Agriculture

  1. 1. A Strategy forYouth Entrepreneurship &Employment in Agriculture: A Caribbean Perspective Keeley Holder Nov 14th, 2012
  2. 2. Caribbean OpportunitiesSuccessful sectors saturated with talent  Youth unemployment biggest developmental challenge  Agriculture NOT saturatedYouth ardent about creating dynamic solutions to complex problems  There’s a hidden complexity in agriculture
  3. 3. Caribbean OpportunitiesFood, Oil, Economic, Environmental, He alth Crises  Agriculture thrives in a recessionAgriculture is knowledge intensive  > Youth pursuing knowledge at UWIGreater access to information through ICTs  Use of ICTs appeal to Youth
  4. 4. Caribbean OpportunitiesOld Agriculture:  Strong Reminder of Poverty & Colonialism that is “Best Forgotten/Ignored”Smart Agriculture:  Exciting, Fulfilling, Financially Rewarding & Socially Acceptable
  5. 5. Caribbean Reality: The Fruit & Vegetable IndustryDeclining & de-emphasised last 30 yearShort term gains, long term painsOverall profitability being erodedFarmer only knowledge worker
  6. 6. Caribbean Reality: The Fruit & Vegetable IndustryNot business-drivenFew opportunities for private professionals & researchersLittle opportunity to:  OBSERVE globally competitive farms/institutionsNot competitive recruiting/keeping talent
  7. 7. Caribbean Reality: Support Systems WEAKINTERACTIONS
  8. 8. Empowering Youth: The Key Things To Be Done Success Breeds Success1. Select a “small” group youth w/ right talents2. Equip them w/ needed skills for long- term success3. Provide supporting framework for long- term success4. Leaders MUST create “spaces” for other youth to participate
  9. 9. Empowering Youth: The Key Things To Be Done1. Attract talent that have SKILLS to be excel in this reality: 3Ds – Determination, Desire, Dedication Self-motivated, Intensely focussed, People- centred Passion & Empathy; Purpose & Objectivity Lifelong Learners, Quick Learners “Perspective Thinkers” Can Handle Failure
  10. 10. Empowering Youth: The Key Things To Be Done2. Provide talent with other SKILLS needed: STRATEGIC Thinking, Problem- SOLVING, Analytical Leadership & Team Building Negotiating & Decision Making Time MANAGEMENT (esp. Women) Knowledge Management (filtering, relevance) Global Literacy
  11. 11. Empowering Youth: The Key Things To Be Done3. Supporting Framework: Access to expertise & opportunities for collaboration Align them w/ influential SPONSORS
  12. 12. Empowering Youth: The Key Things To Be Done3. Supporting Framework: Access to expertise & opportunities for collaboration Align them w/ influential SPONSORS
  13. 13. Empowering Youth: The Key Things To Be Done3. Supporting Framework: Mentorship  Find people w/ knowledge (tacit/explicit) & experience and Don’t Waste Their Time  More Ears, Less Mouth  Don’t let gender/age be an obstacle  We need to learn MUCH MORE than they need to teach us
  14. 14. Empowering Youth: Changing the Status Quo4. Creating spaces for other youth: Build globally competitive models  Opportunities to work/trial (internships, apprenticeships)  Opportunities to observe (believing is seeing) Build smart partnerships Breaking the “short-term gains” cycle
  15. 15. Thank You

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