Rural Youth Urged to Stay at Home and Help Build Communities

Photo: Claudia Gardner Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda, plants a dwarf June plum tree at the Knockalva Agricultural School in Hanover, following his address at the World Food Day national ceremony and exhibition on Thursday (October 12).

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda, is urging young people residing in rural areas to remain at home and contribute to the economic development of their communities.
  • Speaking at the World Food Day national ceremony and exhibition at the Knockalva Agricultural School in Hanover on Thursday (October 12), Mr. Samuda said a large number of rural communities are at a stark disadvantage, as many of the young people migrate after completing school.
  • Turning to other matters, Minister Samuda said that climate change considerations must be a critical part of planning for future agricultural development, as ignoring the phenomenon or classifying it as a myth could prove devastating for the sector.

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda, is urging young people residing in rural areas to remain at home and contribute to the economic development of their communities.

“I implore you to see the positives in every aspect of your community development and try to remain at home to build your community. It is only by rural development that will we see the degree of growth and economic achievement that we all hope for,” he noted.

Speaking at the World Food Day national ceremony and exhibition at the Knockalva Agricultural School in Hanover on Thursday (October 12), Mr. Samuda said a large number of rural communities are at a stark disadvantage, as many of the young people migrate after completing school.

“As I look out here, I say to myself, how many of you youngsters who are receiving this tremendous training are going to remain in your communities,” he said.

He said the Government acknowledges the need for increased focus on infrastructural development in order to stem the rural-urban drift.

This includes the provision of critical hard infrastructure such as roads, water and electricity, and soft infrastructure, including Internet services.

“You cannot develop a community at this time in our history unless you expose every child to the Internet, because the world is no longer Knockalva and its environs. You have an enormous scope from which you can draw knowledge if you are exposed to it,” he pointed out.

Turning to other matters, Minister Samuda said that climate change considerations must be a critical part of planning for future agricultural development, as ignoring the phenomenon or classifying it as a myth could prove devastating for the sector.

“We need to preserve the supply of water; we need to find the answers to the emerging frequency of droughts and the emerging frequency of hurricanes,” he noted.

Minister Samuda blamed climatic conditions for the decline in growth of the agricultural sector for the April to June 2017 quarter.

“Last quarter, we declined marginally, not because we are not producing anymore, not because we have a deficiency in technical expertise or commitment on the part of the people in agriculture; we declined because of (the) weather,” he contended.

He said persistent heavy rains are likely to impact the out-turn for the September quarter.

“So that is why we cannot afford, in agriculture, to ignore the things that are to be done to mitigate the emerging impact that climate change has on agricultural development in Jamaica and the world,” he pointed out.

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