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Fifty-one (51) youths hailing from multiple regions across Guyana have now graduated from a four-day Agro-Processing Training Programme at the Mon Repos Campus of the Guyana School of Agriculture, East Coast Demerara.  The first batch comprised fifteen students while the second was made up of thirty six students, all of whom were resident at the School during the training.

Presidential Advisor on Youth Empowerment Aubrey Norton

Presidential Advisor on Youth Empowerment Aubrey Norton

The training was a joint effort between the Youth Empowerment Office of the Presidential Advisor, Mr. Aubrey Norton and the School of Agriculture, which only recently graduated its largest ever batch of 156 students at its fifty second annual graduation exercise.

Mr. Nizam Hassan, General Manager of the Guyana Rice Development Board and a former General Manager of the New Guyana Marketing Corporation, in delivering the main address to the youths, emphasised the need for budding entrepreneurs to do the crucial research which pertains to marketing new products and to develop a vision for their operation.  He urged the participants to capture the opportunities found in agro-processing.

The course centred on four thematic areas, namely, Food Safety and Quality, Preservation of Meats, Processing of Condiments and Fruit Preservation.  An impressive display of the items produced during this training was mounted.

Mr. Samuel Saul, Senior Economic Empowerment Officer within the Youth Empowerment Office, Ministry of the Presidency, also adverted to the additional training opportunities that will be offered to this batch of graduates to develop other capacities which will strengthen their ability to contribute to development through work.

Dr. Dindyal Permaul, Principal of the Guyana School of Agriculture urged the participants present to note that Guyana’s young people between the ages of 15-34 comprise some two hundred and fifty three thousand, all of whom aspire for decent work which allows for productive employment for income, security in the work place, social protection for females and better prospects for personal development.  Such opportunities, he noted, can be initiated by training.

The School sees this most recent training, along with its endeavours to place all of its graduates at places which can provide short-term attachment or employment, as one designed to reduce unemployment in Guyana’s Youth, which is documented to be very high in relation to Caribbean countries.

Present at this graduation ceremony too, were Mr. Brian Greenidge, the Chief Executive Officer of GSA, Mr. Ronald Austin, Ms. Adeti DeJesus, Ms. Fayon Marshall, all of the Youth Empowerment Office as well as Dr. Dexter Allen, Director of Administration, lecturers and students, all of GSA.

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