A new non-governmental organisation, WHYFARM, has been formed to help young men and women capitalise on opportunities and overcome challenges in the agriculture industry by becoming stronger leaders and more dynamic voices in their local communities.
This was the word from Candace Sennon, the organisation’s educational officer, at Green Market’s Pawpaw Festival at Santa Cruz on Saturday.
“The NGO stands for WHY (We Help Youth) Farm and is about agriculture education, which we call agr-edutainment. Our mission is to promote the importance of sustainable agriculture among youths and children, build their capacity on agriculture, entrepreneurship and empowering them,” Sennon told the T&T Guardian.
“By doing this, it lets them know that they can contribute to the global food and nutritional security by 2050 because we need to learn how to feed ourselves. So we created a superhero called Agriman and teach the importance of agriculture through comic books, stickers, craft items, different types of fun and cool ways we can plant.”
She said the organisation will be rolling out four projects, an agri-preneur challenge in June and July, a school tour starting in September visiting eight schools, five issues of Agriman comic books and upgrading the organisation’s facilities in Siparia, plus building a museum and food park.
Pawpaw was incorporated into the vendors’ various products on Saturday.
Bernard and Avion Enterprises had a delicious and energizing pawpaw, banana and turmeric smoothie; Svadisa Creations’ pawpaw cream eclairs were sold out; the mother and daughter duo Kate and Krys Wong had pawpaw and cinnamon jam and green papaya chutney; Wake & Bake TT had pawpaw cookies, pawpaw pineapple, pawpaw pumpkin and pawpaw banana bread and pawpaw jam; Leslie Corbie had paw paw-infused soap while artist Kristin Abreu sold paw paw-inspired engravings and complementary pawpaw desserts to name a few of the treats on hand.
Minister of Public Utilities Robert Le Hunte, who was on hand, said in addition to being a fantastic effort and a good social programme, a lot of the entrepreneurs had scope for improvement and expansion. He said the truth of the matter was the Government in the future cannot continue to provide employment for every single person. Le Hunte said a lot of people were taking their destiny into their own hands and creating employment with their products.