KINGSTON — Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Robert Montague says the 4-H Movement must continue to provide the foundation, which will engender an appreciation of agriculture as a viable career option, by its members and other young people.
“Although the 4-H has (over) 66,000 members celebrating 71 years of existence, I am still going to challenge the Movement to go back to the foundation to provide that environmental knowledge, that leadership training, the social care and the husbandry care, so that there can be an appreciation by our young persons of the goodness and the contribution of agriculture,” he said.
The new Minister was speaking at the launching ceremony for the third staging of the Caribbean 4-H Food Festival, at the 4-H Clubs head office in Kingston, on July 7.
Mr. Montague pointed out that the Movement encourages hands-on training for young people, while making them more innovative.
Commenting on the importance of the festival, which will be held from July 25 to 30, the Minister said it will bring together clubbites from across the Caribbean, while showcasing youth activities in agriculture and food related disciplines.
“The success of this festival will bring us on a new odyssey, a new journey in taking agriculture to where it rightfully belongs, because agriculture impacts all sectors in the country,” he said.
He informed that the Ministry will award the winner of the country cook-off competition with US$500 for their innovativeness and creativity throughout the competition.
The Festival is an experience of displays, entertainment, exploration, relaxation, information and investment activities and is designed as the signature event which attracts international attention on the Caribbean 4-H Movement.
It will be held at the Rose Hall 4-H training and production centre in St. Catherine and the Denbigh Agricultural Showground in Clarendon.
Some of the activities during the week-long function include: courtesy calls on the Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen; Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding on Wednesday, July 27; the Caribbean Council Bi-annual meeting at the Rose Hall Centre on Thursday, July 28; the judging of competitive events, best booth competition and closing ceremony at the Denbigh Showground on Saturday, July 30.
The objectives of the festival are: the promotion of youth activities in food, leadership and the environment; to raise funds for the development of the 4-H Movement in the Caribbean; to involve the Caribbean Diaspora in the youth development of the Caribbean; to attract foreign direct investment in partnering with youth skills in the Caribbean in the areas of agriculture and agro-enterprises; to showcase the skills of 4-H members and leaders across the Caribbean; and to promote regional food security.
Its target audience include: the international corporate community to participate by setting up displays, participate in seminars and workshops and contribute to the growth and development of the Caribbean 4-H Movement for the following year; and the Caribbean food sector, with emphasis on youth in food production, to contribute and participate in the week of activities.
By CHRIS PATTERSON, JIS Reporter