ORANGE WALK TOWN, Thurs. Aug 12, 2021– In recognition of International Youth Day, celebrated today, August 12, the Belize Sugarcane Farmers Association (BSCFA) highlighted projects they’ve been involved in to promote youth empowerment, in collaboration with Fairtrade.
They mentioned one of their prior initiatives, which was the establishment of a Youth Working Group consisting of young people involved in farming who plan to venture into agriculture. This group will be supported through various training and capacity-building exercises — including focus group discussions on supply and demand constraints, which is a major obstacle that prevents young people from securing productive opportunities in agriculture
The Youth Policy and Guidelines will be developed using tools and processes suggested by Fairtrade International and will be aimed at helping youths aged 16 to 28 years to access decent employment, skills development, and business opportunities and enable them to participate in the decision-making process of the sugar cane industry in Belize. The youth working group is expected to submit its draft policy by October 2021 to the BSCFA Management Committee. The Committee will, in turn, review, adjust and present it to the General Assembly for a formal ratification.
Guided by Fairtrade International’s suggestion, as of July 28, 2021, BSCFA has also offered an 8-week practicum to the working group and the BSCFA Extension officers that will be facilitated by a graduate student from the University in California, Berkeley. This has been part of an ongoing operation to provide meaningful training to youths.