Young farmer advocates for development in agricultural sector

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A young entrepreneur in the field of agriculture has strongly recommended the acquistion of a reverse osmosis plant specifically dedicated to the farming community to mitigate against prolonged periods of drought.
Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of LCP Industries, Winston Laville, also wants farmers to have better access to finances for expansion and other purposes.
“We have been in a drought from since 2013 so I think now is the time for us to really look at it and decide how best to put in the necessary infrastucture to mitigate severe drought conditions,” he said yesterday.
Laville said that farmers should not be placed at a disadvantage when it comes to accessing finances. Citing the United States as an example where he said farmers’ loans are approved within 10 minutes, he said it was very difficult for loans to be approved in Antigua & Barbuda.
“Access to finance is something that is pretty much non-existent in Antigua; that is something that, as a country, we can do better with,” he said.
The young entrepreneur maintained that critical changes needed to be made from a stakeholder and policy level for the survival of the sector.
In 2016, Laville was selected from a field of 4,000 entrepreneurs from 35 countries in which 250 were selected to take part in President Obama’s Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI).
YLAI empowers entrepreneurs and innovative civil society leaders to strengthen their capacity to launch and advance their entrepreneurial ideas and effectively contribute to social and economic development in their communities.
He spent six months in Salt Lake City, Utah, undergoing his internship where he received training, and also got the opportunity to learn from locals by job-shadowing and participating in day-to-day operations at host organisations.
LCP Industries specialises in the production of onions, watermelons, canteloupes and green leafy vegetables.
Laville has returned to the island with his mentor James Loomis, who is an agriculture specialist in organic farming, greenhouse design and management.
Both will be teaming up to launch a special project centred around re-generative agriculture, which is an approach to food and farming systems that regenerates topsoil and enhances biodiversity now and long into the future.

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