Caribbean Farmers Network

Legally registered non-profit, nongovernmental regional umbrella farmer
 Formed and initiated by farmer organisations
across the Caribbean in 2002.
 Mandated to speak on behalf of its
membership and to develop programmes
and projects aimed at improving livelihoods.
 Collaborate with all stakeholders in the
agriculture sector to the strategic advantage
of its farmers.
MISSION: “To enhance Caribbean food and
nutrition security, foreign exchange earnings and
foreign savings, by repositioning agriculture
through the capacity building of farmers and the
institutional strengthening of farmers organisations”
› To improve the quality of life for small farm
families throughout the Caribbean region
› To gain economic empowerment and
agriculture sector
The Caribbean is a treasure chest geological wonders and well
positioned to take advantage of a myriad of development
options in the sector of agriculture. However, this fact applies to
the land and not to the minds of the masses.
Unlike other
places in the world, the plantation economy histories of the
Caribbean coupled with historically based negative social
perceptions have manifested itself as quite an obstacle to the
full realization of the potential of the sector especially
among our youth. As such across the Caribbean region there is
a marked absence of young entrepreneurs entering the industry.
Surveys among farmers’ organizations across the region reveal
that the average age of farmers has been increasing to 45 years
old in most islands with the majority being over 60 years old. It is
for these reasons CaFAN suggests that a wider definition of youth
should be utilized ie: 15-35 years.
Despite the many challenges, key successes have been made in
attempts to involve our youth in the agricultural sector.
The Gilbert Agricultural and Rural
continues to provide training assistance
for young farmers and young persons
who wish to get involved in agriculture.
Currently, GARD is partnering with other
organisations to provide job placement
for these young persons.
Agrofest is an annual exhibition
It provides an
opportunity for all stakeholders of the
agricultural sector, both local and
overseas to come together and
showcase a variety of their products
and services. It also highlights the
different opportunities within the
sector as a means of attraction and
investment in the sector.
The National Association for Youth in
Agriculture continues to work with young
students to develop an appreciation for the
Agriculture Sector. Programmes such as
school essay competitions and school
gardens are encouraged in Dominica.
A model that Guyana Agricultural Producers Association
(GAPA) has developed as incentives to young farmers is to
introduce technology such as green house production, a
project conceived in collaboration with the Ministry of
Agriculture to build model farms where field school training
were conducted and field trips by schools. Young farmers
who were interested were assisted in building the shade
house completed with drips and mulch plastics. The farmers
provided the land. GAPA supplied the materials at a reduced
cost to the farmers and also continued mentoring and
guidance is provided to the farmers.
The Jamaica Agriculture Society (JAS)
through its annual Denbigh Agricultural
show provides an opportunity to show
case the agriculture sector in Jamaica.
One of the major highlights of the Show
competition. According to JAS, this
personality, intelligence, the right
values, and attitudes all capsulated by
agricultural knowledge. The winner of
the competition will represent the
agricultural sector for one year.
The success of the Oxfam Market Access
Project in St. Lucia - Linking Agriculture to
Tourism has seen more St. Lucian young
farmers becoming members of farmers
organisations to be a part of the project.
the Eastern Caribbean Trading Agriculture and Development
(ECTAD) developed a project called “Linking
Agriculture to Health and Nutrition”.
This project was
specifically targeted as a promotional campaign for the
young to get involved in local food production and
consumption. Successful indicators of the project shows a
growth in more people, especially the young getting involved
in backyard farming.
In addition, ECTAD farmers were
asked to include their children in
the management of farms with
keeping entrusted to them.
CaFAN has joined with the Technical Centre for
Agriculture and Rural Development (CTA)
through their Agriculture, Rural Development
and Youth in Information Society (ARDYIS)
project to strengthen a greater youth
participation in the agriculture sector. Several
programmes under the project including an
Essay and Blog Competition has commenced
and CaFAN is encouraging all its members to
fully participate.
CaFAN is a very practical and action oriented organisation and
believes that we do not always have to reinvent the wheel. CaFAN
advocates that we look at what is available, and we build upon it
and replicate its success throughout the other countries of the
Caribbean. The examples provided are but a drop in the bucket
and they provide a base upon which further work can be done and
current work be expanded.
We have found it to be quite an incentive to provide guaranteed
market access to youth entering the sector as young entrepreneurs.
This is one lesson we learned from our Oxfam project in St Lucia. We
have also found success through creating linkages with other
sectors such as health and nutrition, sports and tourism. Through
initiatives like these with continuing public and private sector
collaboration, strides are being made to create a more favourable
environment for young rural agriculturalists.
While training on labour, marketing and financial
management are becoming more readily available, CaFAN
also supports and encourages training on personal and
community development as well as introducing youths to
agriculture at a young age and advocates for the
strengthening of small farm families. CaFAN hopes that
young persons across the region seize these blossoming
opportunities not only to gain financial independence and
security but also to become involved in and contribute
meaningfully to reducing food insecurity across the region as
well as increase rural employment and development and aid
in the reduction of poverty in the Caribbean.
C/o ECTAD, Beachmont
P.O. Box 827, Kingstown
St. Vincent and the Grenadines, West Indies
Tel: 784 453 1004 Fax: 784 453 1239
Email: or