L-R, Kobe Anderson, Dexter Henry, Maria Edwards, Eileen Anderson (URP Participants), listen intently to Farmer-to Farmer Programme volunteer, Adanna Piggott, as she shares on seed and seedling care at her nursery at Spring Garden, Tobago. (Image: DIQE-THA)

Unemployment Relief Programme (URP) participants registered in a three-year ‘Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F)’ virtual training programme of the University of the West Indies and the Purdue University, got a chance to put theory into practice this week, when they commenced practical agricultural training at a private nursery in Spring Gardens, Tobago.

A release from the Division of Infrastructure, Quarries and the Environment (DIQE) in the Tobago House of Assembly reports that the practical training took place on Thursday 6 May 2021.

According to the DIQE-THA, the training was augmented to complement the theories taught virtually, so trainees can put their knowledge to work. They are being tutored by Purdue volunteer and local farmer Adanna Piggott on starting seeds and seedling care.

During the virtual component of their training, the team at URP were tutored by Ohio State Extension volunteer, Jacqueline Kowalski, in Agricultural Techniques to Improve Vegetable Seedling Production; Report Keeping and Starting Seeds; and Good Agricultural Practices.

The F2F programme, which responds to the training and development challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, provides technical assistance from the United States volunteers to farmers, farm groups, agribusinesses, and other agriculture sector institutions in developing and transitional countries.

The agricultural arm of the Unemployment Relief Programme (URP) is the second virtual volunteer assignment of the initiative.

The DIQE-THA says F2F is one of the latest opportunities it has sourced as part of its policy for continuous capacity building of women in the Programme, giving them the wherewithal to become entrepreneurs while boosting the agriculture sector.