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Saturday, 18 October 2014

I AM NOT AFRAID!!!!

    I didn't have the urge to write for a while, still I continued the fight as an Agrifootsoldier, representing the interest of youth and women in the Caribbean.   In the recently concluded Caribbean Week of Agriculture, I came face to face with an ugly reality and for my statements I make no apologies.

   At the General Alliance meeting held on the 08th October, 2014 the Minister of Agriculture, Suriname presented a Feature Address "Family Farming- The Case of Suriname" in which he quoted some statistics on the agricultural sector in Suriname. He stated that 3% of the farming population of his country is under the age of 25. These statistics were supported by the Chairman, Hon. Roland Bhola; Minister of Agriculture- Grenada, as he indicated that these figures can be representative of the entire region.

And everything was going fine until I felt a burning desire within myself to say something. To say something for the youth. To say something for the women.To say something for the sector.

  In reality, youths especially, have not been adequately represented in the agricultural sector and the challenges that we face on a day to day basis make it even more difficult to bring about the change we desire within the sector and sadly this is translated in the 3% of young farmers in the 'region'. However, when I looked around the room, I asked the question what is the average age of our decision and policy makers? To further add insult to injury, 2014 was declared the International Year of Family Farming, yet still little to no emphasis has been placed on strengthening and developing youth and women in  agriculture.

On paper, we seldom forget to include youth and women, however is never translates into our realities. Across the region the cries are the same but it feels as these cries are being muted because no-one seems to hear.... or care.....

       Now for the interesting part!
One LADY, had the audacity to say to me that I need to know my place as a Woman in certain Forums!!!! In 2014, that is the kind of support I would receive from a woman.... but she is only one. Many of those who took offense to my statements found that my comments were too strong and should have been more subtle and nicely said. The truth in itself has a way of offending. Let us be real: There is nothing nice about poverty. There is nothing diplomatic in malnutrition. There is absolutely nothing subtle about hunger. So until we could be bold and honest about the realities we face every single day, I will never censor my words. I will never be political or diplomatic about these very critical issues. NEVER!!!!!

To my Agrifootsoldiers who stand with me, I am not concerned about those who stand against me. I will continue to speak up and out for youth and women in agriculture, for I AM NOT AFRAID!!!!

8 comments:

  1. I don't know much about farming, but I do know that if more young people don't get involved sooner, before long, we will be hungry. Keep fighting fight Nya :D

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  2. Well stated my fellow soldier we can never give up the fight. We must use gulie and technology to overthrow thoae who attempt to hijack the sector and keep it in perpetual poverty so as to make their existence relevant

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  3. Thank you for sharing your thoughts Theron. Appreciated.....

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  4. Reality check can be painful at times
    Revolution is needed for change
    Your words can be the start to that change, as other voices will follow through
    Do not be afraid fellow agrisoldiergirl as truth always clearly stands out aganst false hood.
    Know the struggle is real< I know its a hard battle but we will only get somewhere if we sincerly get up and move...#realtalk...#struggleisreal...#bushteahot...#burningpplmouth....#fullsupport

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  5. I really appreciate the support from my fellow agrifootsoldiers. Alpha Sennon.. luvin your hashtags. #bushteahot #burningpplmouth.... Lolz....

    Thank you guys....

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  6. 13 years after CWA and little or no evidence to support what has been done for youth and women in agriculture. Nya continue to be an agrifootsoldier, many of us stand with you.

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  7. Nyii, that's one of the things I like about you not afraid to talk, well done. Now lets be frank you think this system really wants to hear youths, honestly I don't believe so, because if they did you would have received a sit on the council. Don't you realize its the same issue and same concern and same solutions that come up over and over and over again but only a set of talk and talk. As an agrifootsoider I stand with you but lets use our strength to teach other youths the importance of agriculture and to be grateful to God for the lands, sea and environment he has blessed us with. and we should preserve every bit of it

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  8. I write in support of the issues raised by my fellow counter path. It was in 2012 CWA held in Antigua I had my taste of the Alliance meeting and at that time I got the feeling that we the youths were there just to say that we were there. A general report was given on the challenges that youths are facing as well as projects that were excuted. At the end of the presentation very little attention was given to the report and the bigger heads just went on with the real meeting that didn't include the youths. I raised my hand to say something and wasn't even given a chance to comment on anything and they say that the youths are the future ................... PLEASE GIVE ME A BREAK . There are a number of issues facing young people who are interested in making food security a prioty. 1. INSURANCE for farmers doesn't exsist in the caribbean and mark you a motor vehicle is a high risk investment yet hundreds of thousand of premiums are processed everyday because of this one can conclude that it is very difficult to acess funding. why funding. The start up cost for those who even attempt to enter this field is very high because most lands have no basic infrastructure such as roads , water , electricity etc. So what is the Alliance committee doing about these issues which has been looking them in the face since they themselves were youth. AND I PAUSE ......................SO MUCH STILL TO SAY

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