Agriculture Ministry to roll out 'Farming as a Business' training course
The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries will be rolling out its ‘Farming as a Business’ training course this year.
Giving details of the programme during his 2021/22 Sectoral Debate presentation in the House of Representatives on May 12, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Floyd Green, said Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) extension officers have already been trained in the course and will administer the programme to registered farmers through their groups.
“Extension services is essential to agribusiness development. Our farmers are entrepreneurs and, as such, business principles have to be applied by our farmers to achieve greater productivity and better market engagement,” he pointed out.
Green said farmers will receive training in record keeping, tracing and managing their day-to-day expenses (labour, family care and miscellaneous), how to qualify for loans, how to access small business benefits, how to take greater care in market analysis and how to organise the business component of their agricultural operations.
The training course, which was launched in September 2020, is being done in collaboration with Commonwealth of Learning, Canada.
Meanwhile, Green said the use of technology is critical to efficient administration of extension services.
To facilitate this, Green said a full rollout of the Extension Activities Services Management System (EASMS) is to take place this year and over the next two years.
“This a software system which our extension officers use to input real time data about farmers and their activities,” he explained.
In keeping with the Ministry’s efforts to promote greater use of technology in the sector, Green said extension officers and parish managers are also being encouraged to engage with farmers through text and WhatsApp messages to share pertinent information in real time and to mobilise farmers’ groups.
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