Historic Agri-Preneur Conference for Women and Girls Begins on Nevis   

Ms. Shelisa Martin-Clarke, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Gender Affairs, at the Opening Ceremony for the Ministry’s Agri-preneur Conference, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture at the GMBC Building on August 23, 2022
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NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (August 23, 2022) — A three-day Agri-preneur Conference for women and girls on Nevis, aimed at empowering them to become business persons in the agriculture industry, commenced on August 23, 2022. 

The first of its kind on Nevis, a brainchild of the Ministry of Health and Gender Affairs, the three-day conference is being held in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture.

In an overview of the educational event, Ms. Shelisa Martin-Clarke, Permanent in the Ministry of Health and Gender Affairs, underscored the importance of women in agriculture on the island and the ministry’s role in assisting them to advance in the sector.

“Women are a vital part of agriculture not only here on Nevis but around the globe. As such it is our responsibility at the Ministry of Health and Gender Affairs to ensure that our women and the next generation of women are equipped with the skills and knowledge to face the growing challenges of food security…

“We believe that women have much to contribute to the agriculture industry. Our goal is to have women who are empowered and educated so they can engage in sustainable agriculture,” she said.

Ms. Martin-Clarke also spoke of the objectives of the conference which also targets four specific Sustainable Development Goals.

“The objectives of this conference are to sensitize women and girls about climate change and climate smart agriculture; to sustainably increase agricultural productivity, food security and incomes; to adapt and build resilience to climate change; to provide women and girls access to finance to invest in climate smart agriculture; to provide women and girls with information to successfully operate an agribusiness.

“The conference will target Sustainable [Development] Goals no.1 – No Poverty; no.3 – Good Health; no. 13 – Climate Action and no. 15 – Life on Land,” she said.

The conference consists of short sessions to assist participants in establishing and running successful agribusinesses.  The sessions the participants were exposed to on the first day were: Importance of Agriculture and challenges Women face in Agriculture by Hydeia Tyson; Climate Change and Climate Smart Practices by Randy Elliott; and Agribusiness by Mackie Tross.

On the second day, August 24, the sessions will be: Financial Management and Record Keeping by Anthony Galloway; Developing and Protecting your Brand by Jihan Williams; Legal Aspect of a Business by Althea Campbell; and Women’s Empowerment by Taiwan WEP. In addition, participants will also engage in group work and will have the opportunity to present their business concepts or ideas.

On the final day, August 25, the group will be taken on a field trip to A1 Farms for practical experience. The conference will conclude with the presentation of certificates.

Ms. Martin-Clarke registered her satisfaction with those who decided to be a part of what she described as “shaping the future of agriculture here on Nevis” as she encouraged them to take with them all the knowledge that will be fed to them over the next few days and “go out and feed the world.”

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