News Releases

Over 750 persons trained in UWI/USAID Farmer-to-Farmer Programme

For Release Upon Receipt - May 12, 2023

St. Augustine

[L-R] Professor Mark Wuddivira, Dean of The Faculty of Food and Agriculture The UWI St. Augustine Campus, Amanda Dickson, Program Director for the F2F programme, Campus Registrar of The UWI St. Augustine Campus, Dr Dawn-Marie De Four-Gill, U.S. Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, Her Excellency Candace A. Bond and Professor Gerald Shively, Associate Dean and Director of International Programmes in Agriculture, Purdue University 

ST. AUGUSTINE, Trinidad and Tobago. Friday 12th May, 2023 - The USAID John Ogonowski and Doug Bereuter Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) programme which was started in April 2020, celebrated the culmination of the programme on May 10 – 11, 2023 at The University of West Indies – St. Augustine (The UWI) coming out of a collaboration with Purdue University, a land grant university in West Lafayette, Indiana, responsible for the implementation of the Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) programme.

For the past three years, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded the programme and provided technical assistance from U.S. volunteers to farmers, farm groups, agribusinesses, and other agriculture sector institutions in Trinidad & Tobago. Through this programme, more than 750 people in Trinidad and Tobago were trained across several exciting themes. The closing ceremony included cultural presentations by host groups and local volunteers who were a part of the programme.

The F2F programme received high praise from Campus Registrar Dr Dawn-Marie De Four-Gill who spoke on behalf of Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal, The University of the West Indies – St. Augustine, Professor Rose-Marie Belle Antoine. The programme was also commended by Country Director for F2F Trinidad and Tobago, Professor Wayne Ganpat, and Associate Dean and Director of Purdue University’s International Programmes in Agriculture (IPIA), Professor Gerald Shively, all of whom delivered remarks at the closing ceremony.

“Farmer-to-Farmer has shown itself to be not only very effective, but also very timely. We are in an era of great uncertainty. The world is still in recovery from the pandemic, and still dealing with the fallout of the Russian-Ukraine war,” said Dr De Four-Gill.  She continued stating that “Inflation, although showing some signs of easing, still has impacted food prices globally. The Caribbean, perhaps like never before, has to examine and greatly improve our relationship with food, both as producers and consumers,” she added.

U.S. Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, Her Excellency Candace A. Bond interacts with participants of the F2F programme

In her remarks, U.S. Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, The Honourable Mrs. Candace A. Bond told participants that the U.S. Government is committed to helping address food insecurity challenges in the region. She noted that the work being done through the F2F programme is critical to strengthening the food system in Trinidad and Tobago and around the region.

“It has been exciting to see Trinbagonian farmers, extension agents, and agro-processors adapt and adopt new techniques, reach audiences in a different way, and create new products,” said Amanda Dickson, Programme Director for the F2F programme in Trinidad and Tobago. “This is exactly what this demand-driven technical assistance is for. Farmers are implementing climate-smart techniques that address drought and excess rainfall, precision watering, using less pesticides and in safer ways, and creating food products that are safer, nutritious, and meet food-allergy needs,” Dickson noted.

The dual approach will empower farmers by providing them with an array of technical expertise proven to be highly beneficial to all those involved within the programme. The specialized education has helped to enhance nutrition and health, increase food safety, add value to produce, marketing, help farmers respond to the changing environment, and address many other key challenges.

Amanda Dickson, Program Director for the F2F programme, Professor Mark Wuddivira, Dean of The Faculty of Food and Agriculture and Professor Wayne Ganpat, F2F Country Director and retired UWI Dean, Faculty of Food and Agriculture

“This one-on-one attention to skills and knowledge is very beneficial for our groups,” said Professor Wayne Ganpat, F2F Country Director and retired UWI Dean, Faculty of Food and Agriculture (FFA). “It complements the support they receive from FFA and extension, but gives more individual attention that is needed.”


About The University of the West Indies 

The UWI has been and continues to be a pivotal force in every aspect of Caribbean development; residing at the centre of all efforts to improve the well-being of people across the region.

From a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948, The UWI is today an internationally respected, global university with near 50,000 students and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and its Open Campus, and 10 global centres in partnership with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe

The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Culture, Creative and Performing Arts, Food and Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities and Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology, Social Sciences, and Sport. As the Caribbean’s leading university, it possesses the largest pool of Caribbean intellect and expertise committed to confronting the critical issues of our region and wider world. 

The UWI has been consistently ranked among the top universities globally by the most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education (THE). In the latest World University Rankings 2022, released in September 2021, The UWI moved up an impressive 94 places from last year. In the current global field of some 30,000 universities and elite research institutes, The UWI stands among the top 1.5%. 

The UWI is the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists since its debut in the rankings in 2018. In addition to its leading position in the Caribbean, it is also in the top 20 for Latin America and the Caribbean and the top 100 global Golden Age universities (between 50 and 80 years old).  The UWI is also featured among the leading universities on THE’s Impact Rankings for its response to the world’s biggest concerns, outlined in the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Good Health and Wellbeing; Gender Equality and Climate Action. 

For more, visit