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May 19, 2022

Rural Youths Engage in Discussions on Opportunities in Agriculture

A lot of times when we talk agriculture, we probably do not think there’s much more to it than planting and harvesting crops, but today, the Ministry of Agriculture and its Costa Rican counterparts sat down with youths from rural communities to strategize how they can explore possibilities which they can earn an income from. We stopped in at the ministry’s conference room to find out more. Coordinator of the ministry’s National Food and Nutrition Securities Commission, Emilio Montero explained that there’s a world of opportunities the youths can consider.


Emilio Montero

Emilio Montero, Coordinator, National Food and Nutrition Securities Commission, Ministry of Agriculture

“There is a regional strategy for rural youths with activities and objectives and outputs, so we now need to work on developing a rural youth policy for Belize. We do have a draft National Youth Policy within the Ministry of Youth, so it’s about aligning the activities and the objectives there with what’s happening regionally and in doing so we would be able to access resources, be it in the form of human and financial resources, capacity building and training, and that’s the opportunity that’s happening in the workshop today.”


Marion Ali

“Okay, but when think agriculture we think about planting, farming, reaping, harvesting whatever the case may be. So, are these youths farmers? And how does this training translate into how they carry forward?”


Emilio Montero

“Very good question. I was very surprised to  see that the twelve youths who were invited by the organization are coming from farming communities and actually from established cooperatives that exist within the country. There’s the stigma that agriculture is hard work, it’s dirty work, it’s for the non-academic youths and our parents would say, “Oh, you’re good for nothing, go do agriculture. I’ll send you to Mopan Tech or BHSA, or Julian Cho. And no, it’s not about that so the strategy here is using agriculture as the platform. You don’t necessarily need to go and do the dirty work, but you can become an irrigation technician, a climate-smart agriculture technician, specialists in insects and pesticides, so there are the different trades and expertise. So agriculture of just harvesting and planting is just one component. But it’s looking at even value adding to the excess tomato, for example and doing your own salsa casera.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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