MORE SUPPORT NEEDED FOR YOUTH AGRIPRENEURS IN T&T
More support is needed for youth agripreneurs in Trinidad & Tobago. This was the echoing sentiment as WHYFARM hosted the region’s 1st Annual Agripreneur Summit at the Hyatt Regency on Tuesday 27th August 2019. The summit which was the culmination of the Agripreneur Mastermind Programme(AMPITUP TT) which was won by Renee Andrews of Sorvette.
Deputy Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs, Marcia London-McKellar praised the initiative and WHYFARM’s commitment to engaging young persons in farming, as the country continues to grapple with the two fold challenge of a high food import bill, and finding innovative ways to keep young persons productively engaged.
The Summit also featured a panel discussion with five young entrepreneurs who relayed their experiences navigating the agricultural sector. “There are policies that help and policies that hinder entrepreneurs as they try to do their best and make a profitable business” relayed “the lettuce boss” Elon Robinson founder of Better Grow Hydro Farms Ltd. “While I was able to get a lot of assistance from the Agricultural Development Bank, I am still unable to get a Farmer’s badge which means I cannot get reimbursed for some of the equipment and machinery I purchase.” He also added that the situation was frustrating as there are persons with a farmers badge who are not farming but reaping the benefits.
Nikita Legal, Founder of Tropical Hives and AhGrowTT also commended organizations such as Youth Business Trinidad & Tobago (YBTT) and companies from the private sector who continue to make agriculture and youth programmes part of their Corporate Social Responsibility programmes. “Companies like Hyatt, the Digicel Foundation and the Machel Montano Foundation for Greatness should inspire others to come on board and invest in the youth and the future of agriculture in Trinidad & Tobago” she said.
The Annual Agripreneur Summit was the largest gathering of young AGripreneurs in Trinidad & Tobago, and was focused on changing the attitudes and lack of focus on the agriculture sector in Trinidad & Tobago. The event also saw the AMPITUP TT participants deliver their final pitch before the Top Agripreneur was chosen. The winners of this year’s prizes were:
1st Prize – Renee Andrews, Founder Sorvette
2nd Prize – Oje Alexander Happy Farmly Products Ltd
3rd Prize – Jameel Phillip, Green Thumb Gardens
The AMPitUp programme is one of the many initiatives headed by WHYFARM who was 1 of 15 winners in the 2018 Misk Grand Challenges funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
WHYFARM (We Help You-th Farm) is focused on pioneering Agricultural Educational Entertainment (Agri-edutainment) with a mission to promote the importance of sustainable agriculture among youth and children, build their capacity in Agricultural Entrepreneurship and empower them to contribute to achieving global food and nutrition security by the year 2050. WHYFARM also developed AGRIMAN and PhotosyntheSista, the 1st Food and Nutrition Security Superheroes. WHYFARM is a global movement and is currently in Haiti, Rwanda and Zambia.
For more information on the event or for additional comments please contact email@example.com or call 868-338-9346