The Agriculture and Food Technology discipline at The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Samoa Campus in partnership with the Waikato Institute of Technology has successfully conducted a 12-week training course on Applied Entrepreneurial Horticulture Programme for youth from ages 16 to 24 years old.
The activity aimed to facilitate learning and equip young minds to engage in agriculture and processing, particularly in vegetable production.
Agriculture & Food Technology Lecturer, Dr Leslie Ubaub said, “There were 19 participants who completed the 12-week training programme in Savaii and another 20 participants are expected for the second cohort in Upolu next year”.
“This type of partnership provides USP the platform to fulfil its mandate as the regional university to provide quality education to the people in the Pacific,” she added.
Dr Ubaub also highlighted that a partnership like this strengthened USP’s commitment to the region as a partner for development and as a result of this partnership USP has been able to build the capacity to own and deliver the programme beyond the timeframe of the project.
She said, “Wintec and USP worked together under the education component “entrepreneurial horticulture and food”, which mainly tasked to develop and deliver an applied, community-based Level 2 Entrepreneurial Horticulture and Food Programme”.
“The programme enables out-of-school youth ages 16 to 24 to develop competency in horticulture and food safety which then they can use to start their agriculture venture in Savaii. This will also motivate them to appreciate the importance of agriculture as an integral part of the Samoa economy,” she said.
Dr Ubaub added that this partnership was composed of two cohorts, the recently concluded programme in Savaii was the first one with a second to be held at the USP Samoa Campus next year.
This project titled, Improved livelihoods through increased protection of the premium cocoa value chain was funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT).