The National Training Agency hosted a two-member technical and factfinding mission team from SENA (Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje), the National Vocational Training Agency of Colombia for three days from September 10 -12, 2018, as they explored ways SENA could provide technical assistance and training in the Agro-Processing sector in Grenada. The team was accompanied by two translators.
The mission came out of an initial visit by TVET officials in Grenada to Colombia last year, including NTA Chief Executive Officer, Kingsley Morgan and Deputy Chairman of the Grenada Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training, David Fleming, to discuss areas of co-operation in TVET and to tour centres of TVET excellence.
Head of the Mission team, Miguel Andre Pordo Cepeda, noted in the very first meeting with NTA staff that the proposed project provided an ideal opportunity for South-South co-operation and increased international exposure for Grenada’s products and services.
While in Grenada, the team held meetings with Ministry of Education and Youth officials, officials of the Ministry of Agriculture; with the Grenada Investment Development Corporation, Marketing and National Importing Board, the Grenada Produce Chemist Laboratory, the T.A Marryshow Community College, the Grenada Bureau of Standards and the Ministry of Trade, Planning and Economic Development. They also met with entrepreneurs and agro-processors in a general meeting and visited several agro-processing plants including the Southern Fisherman Association, De La Grenade Industries and Belmont Estate.
At the end of the visit the team was satisfied that Grenada had some very good products and with the support of Colombia that these could be positioned to be more marketable. They have initially proposed to submit a proposal to train trainers, to design curricula and training programmes, to provide training for persons in Grenada’s agro-processing sector in Colombia, have Colombians deliver training in Grenada as well and improve on training facilities in Grenada. The team said they have decided to focus on three main areas – cocoa, spices and the processing of fruits.
The SENA project is expected to provide funding and technical assistance at a cost of US$800,000 to Grenada and two other regional countries, St. Lucia and Antigua.