Boosting the Resilience of Young Farmers and Fishers

April 20, 2023

Danielle Williams is a beekeeper, organic farmer and just 23 years old! She is one of 600 young farmers and fishers that benefitted from training and funding support under the EnGenDER project (Enabling Gender-Responsive Disaster Recovery, Climate & Environmental Resilience in the Caribbean) with funding from Global Affairs Canada, and the UK Government.  

When interviewed at the beginning of the project, Danielle expressed her excitement and gratitude for the initiative. She stated, “The funding (from the pilot project), I’m actually going to invest that into Beekeping equipment. They talk about six months support and I’m actually looking forward to that.” Danielle is one of the 20% of young farmers. In Jamaica, only 20% of farmers are young people 18 to 35 years of age, and only 31% of youth farmers are female.  In the fisheries sector, this is further reduced to 5.9% females.  There are several barriers that reduce youth and women’s ability to enter these very essential sectors and with training, certification, technical support, coaching and physical inputs the EnGenDER Project is working to overcome some of these hurdles.

“It is no secret that our women and young people face great challenges in accessing resources to adapt to climate change. If we are to create a future that ensures agricultural security, as we grow smart and eat smart, our youth must be at the forefront of this drive for food security”, Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon Franklin Witter noted. 

The project, implemented in partnership with the Jamaica 4-H Foundation and the Government of Jamaica, is working to boost the resilience of Jamaica’s food security as well as women and youth. “Gender Equality is the most effective way to reduce poverty and to build a more inclusive, peaceful and prosperous world”, Canadian High Commissioner Excellency Emma Tudakovic stated when speaking about the project.  She noted that the EnGenDER project and its climate change adaptation pilot have provided opportunities to strengthen the integration of gender equality into sectoral planning and implementation processes to strengthen climate resilience. “It is our hope that with this support, more young persons will become included in these important industries and the project will provide a supportive framework for the ongoing development of the fisheries sector, Ms Tudakovic said.

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