Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): Anyone who believes there aren’t any exciting and dynamic opportunities for young people in the agricultural sector is misinformed. So says a young man who believes this sector is full of rewarding jobs involving a wide range of skills.
Twenty-year-old Yehudi Armstrong, who works with the Inter-American Institute on Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), is promoting more awareness for the diverse opportunities available to young people like himself in the agricultural sector. He says the reality is very different from the popular opinion that agriculture involves only backbreaking work in the sun.
“Growing up, you would have thought of agriculture as a menial job involving too much hard work but actually there are different segments of the industry you could be involved in – even if you’re a computer programmer,” he explained. “There are now new methods of reducing physical labour in the field – for example, shade houses, which the IICA is promoting, protect crops from pests and damaging weather conditions and pests,” Armstrong emphasized. “It allows you to grow within a controlled setting, where you don’t have to go digging around in a field or even have to bend down to harvest certain crops.”
A young entrepreneur himself, Armstrong believes that if young people are made aware of the varied opportunities in the industry, involving skills in areas such as information technology, health, science, marketing and communication, engineering and more, there will be a greater interest in the field, leading to more innovations and development.
“It’s about educating the young people that it doesn’t have to be you doing the field work itself, because there are now new technologies that allow you to contribute to the industry in a number of ways,” Armstrong remarked.