FAO Strengthening Decent Rural Employment Opportunities for Young Women and Men in Guyana

 Photo Credit: FAO Guyana

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, the Office of Youth Empowerment, Ministry of the Presidency and Specialists in Sustained Youth Development and Research (SSYDR Inc.) disbursed grants to youth entrepreneurs involved in rural based businesses. These grants were disbursed under the project,” Strengthening decent rural employment opportunities for young women and men in the Caribbean”. Funded mainly by the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) with co- funding and technical management of the FAO and the Government of Guyana, this project supports young women and men who are interested and/or active in market-oriented agricultural and food related activities, including production, small-scale processing, agro-tourism, input supply and marketing, and other derived opportunities.

Implemented in 6 Caribbean countries, Guyana, Haiti, Cuba, Belize, the Dominican Republic and Grenada, the two year project aims:

  • To facilitate a common sub-regional policy and program development process with governments, stakeholders and partners, including rural youth and farmer organizations for rural youth employment;
  • To develop and promote an evidenced based knowledge platform as the basis for information sharing, training and capacity building on rural youth employment generation and entrepreneurship;
  • To build capacity to assist access to employment and facilitate the adoption of innovations and best practices for enterprise development among young women and men;
  • To offer grants to young women and men or local producers' organizations, cooperatives and networks and unions who may not have access to adequate finance to establish their businesses.


A very important component of this project is the establishment of a fund to support the undertaking of rural youth livelihoods activities. In August 2018, 75 additional youth entrepreneurs will receive seed grant funding in amounts ranging between USD 500 and USD 3000. These young rural women and men were first trained by SSYDR Inc. for three weeks in Business, Entrepreneurship and Work Readiness. They were then invited to develop and submit business proposals. The project originally intended to fund and strengthen the livelihood activities of 14 additional youth beneficiaries however the high quality of the proposals received led to the decision to offer all youths funding to start their businesses. Guyanese rural youths have received the largest number of grants disbursed to any one country under the project.