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Sustaining Livelihoods Through Agro-Processing

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Contact: Bynta Ernest


Wednesday, August 31, 2011 – Saint Lucia’s Ministry of Agriculture with assistance from the Food and Agricultural Organization, (FAO) has embarked on a training programme to encourage sustainable livelihoods through agro-processing.


 Euthalia Philgence, the National Coordinator of the European Union funded agriculture assistance to St. Lucia, Special Framework for Assistance, (SFA 2006) wants persons to note that agro-processing entails much more than food.      “Now when we talk agro-processing people mostly think food. But we are also looking at the craft sector. Craft is as much agro processing as food is   because we use plant material. What we are trying to do is empower people, give them skills that they can use further. And we’re not just   giving them ordinary skills. What we are trying to do is to teach them to do it on a commercial level, to use technology to know when it is correct, how to do it correctly”


The craft industry is being targeted because of its obvious connection to Saint. Lucia’s Tourism industry


Patricia Anthia Joshua, Farm Management Officer, expounded on the nature of training being undertaken and expressed her department’s desire to see young person’s embrace the industry. 


“To start the ball rolling what we have decided to do is develop a three year programme where we look at training, entrepreneurship. So we link craft training, that is the skills part, some business training, in addition to those that are presently in the industry to see if we can get some of our younger persons involved,” Joshua said.


The training is being facilitated by the Small Enterprise Development Unit (SEDU). A graduation ceremony was held to officially recognize those who successfully completed this leg of the programme.


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