The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Government of Liberia (GOL) will today begin a ten-day aquaculture training seminar in Compound #2, Grand Bassa County, on economic development through youth employment, entrepreneurship, and improved nutrition and poverty reduction.
The ten-day seminar is organized by FAO in partnership with the government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MYS) and the Bureau of National Fisheries (BNF) of the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA).
The training is expected to bring together 40 participants, mainly youths from Grand Bassa and Margibi counties. Others will include officials from the MYS, aquaculture experts from FAO, the BNF, young Liberian entrepreneurs and other key stakeholders.
The participants of the seminar are expected to also acquire fish farming and hatchery management techniques, better business development strategy as well as develop a training guide that will be used as a reference tool for youth aquaculture.
FAO provided up to US$492,000 under its Technical Cooperation with the GOL. The project is entitled “Creating Aquaculture Enterprise for Youth Employment, Poverty Reduction and Food Security.”
The training is in line with FAO Strategic Objectives 2, 3, and 4 focusing mainly on rural sustainable development agriculture and rural poverty reduction. It is aligned with the United Nations Development Framework (UNDAF) Pillar II (Sustainable Economic Transformation), and is also contributing to the FAO Country Programming Framework (CPF) for sustainable agriculture development.
The FAO-funded initiative is geared toward building the capacity of 600 vulnerable youth in aquaculture development in four regions in Liberia comprising Grand Bassa, Margibi, Bomi and Grand Cape Mount counties.
According to a release, youth unemployment has been a major challenge to the government; with the 2010 Labor Force Survey conducted by the government and its partners showing high rates of vulnerable youth unemployment in the country, especially in rural areas, with an overall rate of 86 percent.
The objective of the training, the release said, is to develop small business management skills, gender wealth creation opportunities, and develop the potentials of young people for a sustainable aquaculture entrepreneurship.
Phase two of the training seminar will be conducted in Sinje, Grand Cape Mount County, from June 27 to July 7 for an additional 40 youth participants. The two seminars are expected to bring the number of youths trained in both Grand Bassa and Grand Cape Mount counties to 80.