Youth “Fast Track” Agro Incentive Grant Launched
October 20, 2021:- In an effort to make it faster and easier for young persons to access grant funding of up to one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00) under the Agricultural Finance Support Programme (Agro-Incentive Grant), Cabinet has agreed to the creation of a window from October 20, 2021 to December 15, 2021, whereby youth applicants will enter a ‘fast track’ process and have a decision made on their respective applications by January, 2022. The principal applicant must be aged eighteen (18) to thirty-five (35) as at December 15, 2021, in order to qualify.
A collaboration between the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries (MALF) and the Ministry of Youth Development and National Service (MYDNS), this Youth “Fast Track” Agricultural Finance Support Programme was implemented to alleviate the inordinate delays experienced by young food producers in accessing grants, incentives and subsidies offered by the Ministry as a result of a number of existing constraints.
Priority financial support would be directed to: the shift towards protected farming; the introduction of energy-saving and labour saving technology and efficiency improvements; the acquisition of specialized equipment and value-added initiatives, particularly those related to on farm improvements to support the packaging of primary production. Priority will also be given in the first year to brand building; packaging; space expansion; research and product development; protection of intellectual property; and food safety compliance requirements. Grants would not be available for the purchase of vehicles and other non-essentials such as consultancy fees and regional and international travel.
As part of the ‘fast track’ process, the Cabinet has appointed a five (5) member Assessment Committee – comprising representatives from MALF, MYDNS and the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) – to assess proposals / applications and present recommendations to the Permanent Secretary (MALF) by January 14, 2022.
For information on the Youth “Fast Track” Agricultural Finance Support Programme’s eligibility criteria, assessment criteria, approval process and Application Form, please see the following link: https://agriculture.gov.tt/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Fast-Track-Youth-Agricultural-Finance-Support-Programme-Agro-Incentive.pdf