KINGSTON, Jamaica— More young Jamaicans are being trained and certified as youth famers through the Jamaica 4-H Clubs, in partnership with HEART/NSTA Trust.
Executive Director, Jamaica 4-H Clubs, Dr Ronald Blake, said the programme was developed to meet the growing demand for certification by youth farmers.
“The Jamaica 4-H Clubs has always been certifying our youth farmers. A lot of them have been certified under our mastery level programme, but recognising that HEART being the national training organisation and the fact that the certification under the NVQJ is internationally accepted, it became a natural partner with the Ebony Park HEART Academy with whom we already have a memorandum of understanding to partner to build out capacity,” he said.
The certification is based on the knowledge that youth farmers have already acquired from working in the field.
Dr Blake disclosed that some 323 youth farmers are currently being assessed to receive certification under the programme.
“The Youth Farmer Certification Programme is based on training on a whole and prior learning assessment, and it takes into consideration that these youngsters have been practically doing a particular activity over time and they have participated in various training by the 4-H Clubs and other agencies. So, the technical person would go in and administer the assessment and we would see how they perform against the assessment standards,” he said.
Dr Blake explained that the programme covers several areas ranging from crop production to tractor operations.
“We are doing certification in livestock attendance, vegetable crop production, nursery attendance, propagation specialist, farm supervisor and farm equipment operator. These are some of the areas being focused on presently, but there are other areas that will come on,” he said.