Youth, ICT and agriculture in the Caribbean!

As indicated in the last post, The Caribbean Week of Agriculture (CWA) will be held in Antigua and Barbuda from the 14th to 20th October 2012, under the theme “Celebrating Youth and Gender in Caribbean Agriculture: each endeavouring all achieving.”

This is one of the events that brings together agri stakeholders of every kind from around the Caribbean. With this year’s theme much of the focus is on youth in agriculture. The organizers and supporters have made great efforts to garner youth interest in the event.  

However there is one key thing lacking in the marketing and hype surrounding the event? Where are the Information and communications technology? Where are the ICTs? The world of communication has changed.

With a vast array of ICTs available around the world it is easy to quickly and effectively communicate information. Therefore discussions that are held at CWA can become interactive via the internet.

Agri youth from around the Caribbean who may not be able to attend the conference can be a part of event from the comfort of their homes. Due to the theme of this year’s conference such a situation would be ideal!

Not to mention use of technology in agriculture has a positive impact on youth, as it peaks their interest and adds a dimension of learning that may have been previously unknown. An earlier post focused on agri based social media groups, made and run by young persons across the Caribbean.

These groups, despite there varying degrees of activity should be utilized. The organizers of the conference did make an attempt to utilize social media via a facebook group. However it may be underutilized as it is lacking content and it doesn’t seem to have been shared to various target groups that are also on facebook.

Another ideal outlet would have been the Twitter social media tool. Due to it’s format, short bursts of information concerning the conference and other content could have quickly been disseminated to the public. Regardless the event seems to have reached many stakeholders and looks to be a promising event that may see substantial changes for youth in agriculture.


  1. I strongly agree with all your points made Mr Bascombe. One of my main issues with agricultural stakeholders in encouraging youths in innovation and technology in agriculture is the medium at which the message is transfered. For some, conferences and workshops may work , but for others it may not. Developing a more innovative way to transfer the message to youths about being innovative will capture their attention, rather than sitting listening to lectures, etc. I believe this is necessary from a youth perspective. Developing competitions with interesting prizes as incentives to gain youths interest, inviting youths to use ICT’S as means at which they produce or precess food efficiently and effectively. Keeping in mind you cannot teach someone to have a passion FOR AGRICULTURE or to love the PRIMARY PRODUCTION step, that has to be developed from inside. Therefore in the meanwhile technology and innovation has to be taught through the use of ICT’S.

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