The proposed Youth in Agriculture Policy being developed by Jamaica’s Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is expected to be completed and launched in 2021.
This was disclosed by Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Floyd Green, who said that a primary goal is earmarking at least 20% of government-owned lands for agricultural use by young persons in the sector under age 35.
“We expect that next year we will be able to [have a] policy that will outline the vision of the ministry in relation to the youth, regarding long-standing issues,” the minister said.
He was speaking during the launch of the Youth in Agriculture Roadmap, at the ministry in Kingston on Thursday, Nov. 12.
Noting that youth in the agriculture experience challenges accessing land, Green indicated that he has instructed officers at the ministry to take the necessary steps “to ensure that we have… government land… set aside for our young people”.
“So while we finalize the development of the policy, I have already said to the team: ‘Let’s start acting upon [this undertaking] until we have the formal policy document,’” he added.
Green advised that the ministry will be targeting lands held by the Sugar Company of Jamaica Holdings Limited and those in the agricultural parks to ensure that young people can access these.
“It cannot be considered on the same parameter that you consider people outside of the youth population; so that land has to be set aside specifically for youth,” he added.