The primary sector of Tenerife is aging and it has done so in geometric progression in recent years. The Cabildo considers the generational change as a key factor to guarantee the future of agricultural, livestock and fishing activities. It aims to encourage young people with the promotion of training and therefore offers this year the courses of the Agricultural Training Plan free of charge. The first area in the development of the initiative will be the island countryside. The island councilor for the area, Javier Parrilla, assures that “guaranteeing access to training is essential for improving the sector and the island’s circular economy.” He also considers it “an indisputable pillar to support that generational change that is so necessary.”
“Training is always an investment and we should never approach it as an expense”
The Insular Government Council has approved the modification of the registration fees for the courses of the Agricultural Training Plan, which will be free in 2022. The program is aimed at farmers on the Island, as well as the rural population . It aims to promote the specialization and recycling of people linked to the primary sector “through free and quality learning.”
Parrilla recalls the crisis situation resulting from the pandemic that “will last for much of this year.” For this reason, he values him, “we have to guarantee access to training for those who request it.” The counselor maintains that this crisis has affected the economic capacity of citizens interested in receiving agricultural training. For this reason, one of the economic measures that are proposed, “according to reasons of social interest”, is to provide it for the maintenance of jobs or access to public aid in the sector.
“Since 2020 we have assumed the cost of this training, which represents an investment of more than 25,000 euros and benefits 500 people,” remarks Parrilla, to emphasize that “it is always an investment and we should never consider it as an expense.”
The head of the island’s primary sector proposed to the Governing Council the free provision of agricultural training for two main reasons: the economic difficulties arising from the health crisis and the need to move towards the professionalization of the sector. The Covid-19 crisis left the Agricultural Extension and Rural Development Work Plan for 2020 on the table. After its modification and approval, more than 200 training activities have been delivered in recent months.
This measure is added to the granting of the Agrifood scholarships that bear the name of José Luis Porcuna, an agronomist, benchmark and pioneer of agroecology in the state, who recently passed away. They are intended to complete the studies and training of university students in disciplines related to the agricultural and agri-food sector. They will do so through the development of training practices in certain units attached to the services of the Cabildo and framed in the primary sector.