PORT OF SPAIN, January 18, 2022: “Forty percent (40%) of our national population comprises Young people between the ages of 10 and 35 years. The Government of Trinidad and Tobago is dedicated to supporting our youth and helping them to realise their full potential.”
These were the words of the Honourable Foster Cummings, Minister of Youth Development and National Service as he delivered the feature address at the Signing Ceremony for the Memoranda of Understanding on Tuesday 18th January, 2022 at the Government Campus Plaza, Port of Spain. Both Memoranda of Understanding outlined agreements for the Ministry of Youth Development and National Service (MYDNS) and PETROTRIN (Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited) for the use of facilities at the Chatham Dairy Farm and the Beach Camp Facility, Palo Seco for the National Service Complex, respectively.
“The Youth Agricultural Homestead Programme (YAHP) is one initiative that will afford our youth, between the ages of 18 and 35 years, the opportunity to become successful agribusiness entrepreneurs and to contribute to our sustainable development. One of the goals of this programme is to make young people job creators and not job seekers,” explained Minister Cummings.
PETROTRIN will facilitate the use of the Chatham Dairy Farm for the Ministry’s Youth Agricultural Homestead Programme. The Land Settlement Agency and the Palo Seco Agricultural Enterprises Limited, also signatories of this MOU, will collaborate with the MYDNS to ensure the implementation of YAHP.
The other Memorandum of Understanding outlined the establishment of a National Service Complex at PETROTRIN’s Beach Camp Facility in Palo Seco.
“The National Service Complex will be established at the PETROTRIN’s Beach Camp Facility in Palo Seco. Government’s vision is to create a place where young people can fully participate in programmes and completely focus on their holistic development. It will encourage our youth to give back to their families, communities and nation, through meaningful service,” said Minister Cummings. Minister Cummings also emphasised, “The National Service Complex will offer an environment that is conducive to the positive transformation of our youth who will be enrolled in our dynamic cadre of voluntary programmes.”
The Honourable Stuart Young, Minister of Energy and Energy Industries pledged his Ministry’s support to the MYDNS stating “Youth Development and National Service have a significant and important function in the development of Trinidad and Tobago. Both these programmes – the YAHP Chatham Dairy Farm and the National Service Complex – give hope to young people in a structured and productive manner.” Minister Young implored young people, “Please take these resources and make our vision a reality in the shortest possible time.”
Also speaking at the event were Mr. Farook Hosein, Permanent Secretary – Ministry of Youth Development and National Service; Mr. Nicolas Hunte – Senior Manager, PETROTIN and Ms. Cherryl-Ann Solomon – Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth Development and National Service (MYDNS).
The Ministry of Youth Development and National Service 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.
About the Youth Agricultural Homestead Programme
The MYDNS is supporting agriculture as a viable career option for youths and facilitating the youth’s contribution to the country’s food and nutrition security through the establishment of the Youth Agricultural Homestead Programme (YAHP). Under the YAHP, young nationals from age 18 to 35 years will be provided with access to land and the necessary technical and financial support to become successful 21st century agribusiness entrepreneurs. The programme will comprise 3 main components:
- Agricultural Apprenticeship Training
- Infrastructure Development and
- Business Advisory and Support Service.
YAHP aims to create a cadre of new youth smallholder/commercial farmers through access to land, finance and related agro-processing value chain opportunities; ensure youth gain access to land for agriculture production purposes and increase the agriculture sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and reduce the food import bill.
About the National Service Complex
The Government understands the importance of developing a nurturing environment for young people with the establishment of the National Service Complex at PETROTRIN’s Beach Camp Facility, Palo Seco. The complex venue will enable an integrated, co-ordinated, relevant, youth-centred, delivery-system approach that will address the current and emerging needs of young people with the Military-led Academic Training Programme (MiLAT), Military-led Programme of Apprenticeship and Reorientation Training (MYPART), Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the skills training at the Youth Development and Apprenticeship Centres provided by the MYDNS.
It is envisaged that the overall objective of this initiative will engender a pathway for the youths of Trinidad and Tobago to embrace healthy and holistic lifestyles which will lead to positive outlooks for their future.
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