The Ministry of Blue and Green Economy, Agriculture and National Food Security through the Fisheries Division kicked off the Emergency Agricultural Livelihoods and Climate Resilience Project Boat Builders’ Training at the Hope Boat Building Facility in Layou yesterday.

This will be a two phased training module facilitated virtually and in person by consultant Mr. Derrick Menezes who is a Naval Architect from India.

Phase one which is the theoretical training component will run from June 14 to 22 will be done virtually. Phase two is the practical training component and will allow participants a hands on approach in the construction of the plug and mould. This phase will run from July 4 until September.

Fisheries Support Officer, Mr. Curlon Baptiste says the project aims to integrate resilience into boat building in Dominica.

"What we want to do now is evolve the boat building knowledge of our local boat builders because after Maria we lost a lot of our boats. So what we are trying to do now is to make our boats more resilient. We have gotten some help from a naval architect in India, Mr. Menezes and he is building on the knowledge that they already have,” Mr. Baptiste stated.  
Mr. Baptiste says approximately twenty five persons from around Dominica will participate in this training module.

“We are targeting twenty-five participants. We have six boat builders ad each boat builder came with at least two participants. We also have some youth trainees who will be there picking up the knowledge learning how to build boats; learn how to do plugs and moulds. So that’s another thing that we are targeting; we are trying to build the capacity of our youth through this training,” Mr. Baptiste added.

Meanwhile, Chief Fisheries Officer, Mr. Jullan Defoe says this training was mandated by the World Bank who is the financial partner behind the Emergency Agricultural Livelihoods and Climate Resilience Project.

“It is a requirement under the World Bank that we hold this capacity building training to let our boat builders be accustomed to the materials, techniques and so on. So it is not to say that we don’t have the skills but under the project we have to ensure that the boats we are building are resilient. The idea was to build a boat that was resilient and incorporates all of the key components so that a fisherman at the end can have a boat that is seaworthy with all of the necessary components without cutting any corners. So that was the idea behind the training of the boat builders. So your skill will be sharpened in some way, you may learn something that you didn’t know before but overall the idea was to introduce our current boat builders to new materials, new products and a new way of doing things,” Mr. Defoe explained.

Mr. Defoe added that the delay of this project gave the division an opportunity to better prepare for the increase in capacity that is expected at the end of this training module.