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Study shows productivity down in agriculture, fisheries sectors

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A study carried out here by a Jamaican firm shows that the agriculture and fisheries sector continues to be characterized by low productivity.{{more}}

The report prepared by Trevor Hamilton and Associates International Management Consultants ‘On the Labour Market and Investment Study in St.Vincent and the Grenadines’ noted that this is primarily due to limited research and development, inadequate product development and low skills.

The consultants outlined that there are opportunities to access a large labour force, expand in new skills, and in new service businesses to handle farm produce from farm gate to the consumer.

However, the sector is faced by constraints identified as: Low trainability of existing farm workers, low priority for agricultural training, the social stigma attached to farm work and a growing problem where young people have generally rejected occupations in farming.

To this end, the consultants recommended that agriculture be reintroduced in the schools and that more specialized training schools be established.

While education and training can be a buoyant sector, the consultants stated that there is no public-private model in operation to finance training. They added that domestic financing of skills training is low and training institutions are fragmented. Other related constraints are the general perception that technical and vocation education is for slow learners and a general lack of human resource data for proper human resource policy decisions.

To this end, the consultants recommended that there should be public-private partnerships in training. They also proposed that there should be a public education programme to promote the importance of training.

“Government scholarship programmes should be more flexible to allow graduates to go to the private sector, especially those in strategic economic activities, without any penalty.There should be expanded training in data management [and] Government should develop and implement a national training policy,” the consultants proposed.

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