Agricultural stakeholders to benefit from MoU between ADB and NEDCO
The development of the agricultural sector requires the stimulation of activity along every stage of the agricultural value chain. So said the Minister in the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, Senator the Honourable Avinash Singh on Wednesday 21st September, 2022, at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) of Trinidad and Tobago and the National Entrepreneurship Development Company Limited (NEDCO).
The MOU, which paves the way for ADB’s prospective clients to participate in NEDCO’s Business Accelerator Programme (BAP), will empower youths by strengthening their entrepreneurial skillset whilst also assisting in the development of the agriculture sector through the provision of financing. Under the BAP, clients will benefit from networking, training, advisory, mentorship and access to funding opportunities.
Speaking on behalf of Senator the Honourable Kazim Hosein, Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, Minister Singh said he was heartened by the strategic alliance between NEDCO and the ADB which he cited as being both proactive and innovative and one which would enable farmers to have that level of respect they truly deserve. He noted that agriculture has been identified as a key element in the country’s diversification strategy (Vision 2030) and that the objective for the development of the sector is to create an enabling environment, inclusive of the provision of incentives, infrastructural improvements, markets, land availability and skills enhancement.
Once achieved, he added, such would lead to a culture shift that would revolutionize the industry as we know it. “The aim is to facilitate the smooth transition to a culture of agri-entrepreneurship, thus contributing to the sustainable development of the agricultural sector that would no doubt lend itself to increased employment, reduced demands for both imported food and foreign exchange whilst increasing economic activity, not just within the agricultural sector, but related sectors such as manufacturing, hospitality and tourism, just to name a few.”
Also speaking at the MOU signing was the Honourable Foster Cummings, Minister of Youth Development and National Service who saw the NEDCO / ADB collaboration as one that would improve the lives of young people by supporting the vast potential of a sector which held great promise. He said: “Agriculture is the most immediate means of generating income and employment for a large segment of our population, therefore it is important that our young people gain access to agricultural resources and use them in conjunction with modern strategies to improve their livelihoods and achieve, sustainable economic growth.”
The MOU was signed by Mr. Sheivan Ramnath and Mr. Calvin Maurice, the Chief Executive Officers of the ADB and NEDCO respectively.