Gaining knowledge and hands on experience in agriculture is crucial for young farmers to create job opportunities.
The first of three training workshop for trainers took place at the M.A.F./Crops Division in Nu’u from April 4 – 5 this week.
The workshops combines the efforts of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF), Samoa Federated Farmers Inc. (S.F.F.I.) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (F.A.O.) to address employment challenges for the youth of Samoa.
According to the Samoa 2012 School to Work Transition Survey, 40.3 percent of youth in Samoa leave school without graduating resulting in very limited opportunities for employment.
“Employment for youth is a big challenge for Samoa,” says National Project Coordinator, Tommy Tuuamaali’i from M.A.F. who opened the workshop.
“Young women and men need to develop the knowledge and skills to enter the labour market, and to be provided with additional supporting services to secure employment opportunities.”
“This workshop provided practical training which will contribute to people’s livelihoods.”
Vaimalu T. Laiti, F.A.O. National Consultant-Agriculturist said: “Workshop participants learned the basic principles of vegetable production; composting, rock bedding and keyhole gardening.”
“The training also provided opportunities for participants to practice in nursery production in order to them practical experiences and skills to build their own farm plot in their respective communities.”
The objective of the trainings is to build capacity of selected youth/young farmers on improved crop production practices and increase schools’ students’ awareness of agriculture production.
The trainings are part of a broader F.A.O. funded project called Strengthening capacity of Youth for employment and livelihood in Agriculture, which aims to strengthen capacity of youth to pursue agriculture as a livelihood and employment option.
The next phase aims to target a further 100 more youth/farmers for training at the community and village level. The timing for the second and third trainings will be announced at a later date.
The S.F.F.I. trainings are part of the wider United Nation Youth Employment Programme, where F.A.O, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, and Ministry of Women, Community & Social Development – Division for Youth, are collaborating to build the technical capacity of young farmers and school pupils in various aspects of agriculture development in Samoa.
The project was launched on 11 April 2017 to help Samoan youth gain employment in the agriculture sector.