Hundreds Attend Youth in Agriculture Expo


Several hundred young persons from primary, secondary and tertiary institutions across the island have participated in a Youth in Agriculture Exposition hosted by the Rural Agricultural Development Authority’s (RADA) National Youth in Agriculture/Schools Agriculture Programme.
The exposition was held on Thursday (March 18) at the Denbigh Agricultural Showground in Clarendon under the theme: ‘Youth Reshaping Agriculture Through Technology’.
Bridgette Williams, Coordinator of the National Youth in Agriculture/Schools Agriculture Programme said the aim of the exposition was to motivate and educate students, teachers, education policy makers, 4H Club leaders, extension officers and the wider public about the opportunities available in agriculture and to encourage them to become more involved in agricultural development.
Minister of Agriculture, Roger Clarke, in his remarks, said that it was critical to continue creating opportunities to encourage more young people to participate in the agricultural sector, adding that RADA through the National Youth in Agriculture Programme was providing students with hands on training in agriculture.
“It is against this background that the Ministry of Agriculture continues to afford priority to youth training. We for instance continue to work through our National Youth in Agriculture/Schools Agriculture Programme to implement a number of school garden projects to provide students with on farm training,” he said.
He said that since the start of the programme in 1999, $1.5 million in loans had been disbursed to more than 60 schools island wide to establish school garden projects resulting in the improvement of the nutritional status of the students and the wider community, as well as generating income for school canteens.
Minister Clarke mentioned that more than 50,000 kilograms of meat and vegetables; 40 litres of honey and more than 9,000 dozen eggs had been produced, earning in excess of $5 million.
In addition, he said that 32 students were awarded scholarships under the programme to attend the College of Agricultural Science and Education (CASE), the University of the West Indies, and the Knockalva Agricultural School.
Participants benefited from information and displays on the solar water heater, value added food products, watershed management hydroponics, container gardening, composting, proper environmental care and land husbandry.
The displays were organized by the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE), the Knockalva Agricultural School, the Ebony Park HEART Academy, the Ridge to Reef Project, Caribbean Agricultural and Research Development Institute (CARDI), Vere Technical High School, Clarendon College, Sydney Pagan Agricultural School, Cornwall Youth Club, Jamaica 4H Clubs and the Capital and Credit Merchant Bank.

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