Earlier today (Tuesday 8th March, 2022) the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries (MALF) in collaboration with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) officially launched the Enterprise Community Initiative at the MALF Head Office in Chaguanas.
The objective of the programme is to transfer livelihood skills and provide the necessary learning tools to the vulnerable groups in the Enterprise Community in Chaguanas. This intervention is aimed at assisting those individuals to become self-sufficient in the area of agri-business whilst also improving their overall social well-being.
Speaking at the event, Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries Senator the Honourable Clarence Rambharat, said the programme is meant to cover four (4) core areas, specifically, food and nutrition, the practical aspects of growing food, the practical aspects of value added enterprise and entrepreneurship, whereby participants will now be able to build a successful small business and earn an income stream from their products.
According to Minister Rambharat, the launch of the project was delayed due to the COVID-19 restrictions, as the training was not something that could have been wholly conducted in a virtual environment, but said he was very optimistic about the impact the programme will have on the lives of the participants. Furthermore, the Minister stated that a cadre of specialist volunteers will also be assisting in the programme.
Also delivering remarks at the launch was the Regional Representative for IICA, Ms. Diana Francis who said that they are very pleased to be an integral part of the programme. She added, “this community based initiative is important to Trinidad and Tobago because development is built on the communities go up and therefore where there are strong communities, it augers well for the country and the wider Caribbean region. IICA therefore congratulates all participants involved in the programme and wish them the very best”.
Training for participants is expected to be approximately three (3) months. Other communities throughout the country are also expected to benefit from a similar initiative and an announcement of these programmes will be made in due course.
Also in attendance at today’s event were the Permanent Secretary (Ag), Ms. Susan Shurland, as well as representatives from the MALF and IICA.