Farmers, members of the UN system, Ministry of Agriculture and officials involved with youth employment at the launch of the programme this morning
APIA, SAMOA – TUESDAY 11 APRIL 2017: A technical cooperation programme project to help Samoan youth gain employment in the agriculture sector has been launched in Samoa.
The Food and Agriculture Organization for the United Nations (FAO), Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, and Ministry of Women, Community & Social Development – Division for Youth are partnering to build the technical capacity of young farmers in various aspects of agriculture.
The project called, Strengthening capacity of Youth for employment and livelihood in Agriculture aims to improve production and value addition practices to supply food to the domestic market by young people.
FAO Subregional Coordinator, Ms. Eriko Hibi said in her welcome address at the inception meeting that FAO strongly believes that the future of the Agriculture Sector lies in the hands of our young people, and therefore it is essential to build their skills in agriculture based livelihoods.
“FAO recognizes that by involving young people in the agriculture sector, we are not only providing them with livelihood and employment opportunities, but we are also training the next generation of farmers and agriculturalists to ensure a sustained future for the sector and the country’s food and nutrition security,” said Ms. Hibi.
The project aims to increase local fruit production and value addition for agricultural crops to satisfy local demand by increasing employment of young people in the sector. The project will also target young people’s knowledge and involvement in agribusiness management and marketing to gain access to markets and potential buyers. Agriculture as a livelihood option will be strongly promoted through the duration of the project through different methods or awareness and campaigns.
Ms. Lizbeth Cullity, UN Resident Coordinator, congratulated the Government of Samoa, in particular the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development for their achievement in designing opportunities for youth employment in the field of agriculture.
Ms. Cullity also acknowledged the critical support of the private sector, NGOs and all other key partners who have demonstrated their continued motivation and commitment to assisting the UN deliver better together in the interest of youth and other vulnerable groups.
Furthermore, outcomes through this project will contribute to the broader One United Nations Youth Employment Programme of Samoa, which looks at securing productive employment and decent work for young people (inclusive of those who are marginalised from mainstream economic activities) and empowering young people to contribute to sustainable and resilient economic growth.