A partnership between the St. George Farmers??? Marketing Co-op Society and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) has been progressing well, much to the satisfaction of the Competency-Based Training Fund (CBTF).
Manager of the CBTF, Anderson Lowe, expressed pleasure at the efforts of this partnership on Tuesday, following a review of its progress by the Inter-American Development Bank at IICA???s headquarters, Baobab Tower, Warrens St. Michael.
???The Competency-Based Training Fund is pleased to be associated with the efforts of the Inter-American Institute for Co-operation on Agriculture and the St. George Farmers??? Cooperative, to promote growth, best practices and enhanced productivity in the agricultural sector by providing training opportunities to persons in nine occupational standards to the key players within this industry over a two-year period,??? he said.
He further congratulated IICA???s Representative in Barbados, Ena Harvey, and her team on the results they have achieved so far, noting that he looked forward to the successful completion of their project.
Mrs. Harvey, in outlining the status of the project, said it was rolling out nine qualifications through six Caribbean Vocational Qualifications in livestock production, crop production and agro-processing.
???Thus far, we have completed three of the courses: Crop Production Level I; Agro-processing Level I; and Crop Production Level II, which finished last week, and we are now doing Rabbit Rearing Level II,??? she noted.
Acknowledging that there were 30 persons, including about 15 youths, in the rabbit rearing course, she said it had proved very exciting. ???The assessments have started for Crop I and Agro-processing I, and by the end of January, we hope to have at least 40 persons certified,??? Mrs. Harvey disclosed.
She also added that next year, they hoped to roll out Agro-processing Levels II and III, as well as butchery, livestock production and tree crop farming.
IICA???s representative added: ???So, we hope in the end to train at least 220 persons, not only from the St. George Farmers??? Cooperative, but also from the wider agricultural and agri-preneurs community involved in agro-processing and so on ??? persons at entry level; persons who want to upskill within their own industries and persons who want to be certified in all of these courses.???
The St. George Farmers??? Cooperative and IICA partnership was awarded grant funds of over BBD. $790,000 in Cycle Three of the CBTF programme this year.