- The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries has given an undertaking to adopt the agricultural science department of Newell High School in St. Elizabeth.
- This, in a bid to assist in expanding the agricultural programme currently delivered to enrolled students.
- Mr. Buchanan said the decision forms part of the Ministry’s thrust to get more young people involved in agriculture, particularly in St. Elizabeth.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries has given an undertaking to adopt the agricultural science department of Newell High School in St. Elizabeth.
This, in a bid to assist in expanding the agricultural programme currently delivered to enrolled students.
This was disclosed by State Minister, Hon. Luther Buchanan, during a visit to the school, on October 22.
Speaking to JIS News, Mr. Buchanan said the decision forms part of the Ministry’s thrust to get more young people involved in agriculture, particularly in St. Elizabeth.
“Newell High School is located in the agricultural belt of the bread basket of St. Elizabeth and, as such, if we are serious about encouraging youth in agriculture, it is only befitting that the Ministry of Agriculture adopts the Newell High School Agricultural Department, to work alongside them in terms of the technical support that the school would need,” he explained.
Mr. Buchanan advised that the support provide would include allocating up to 10 acres of land the government owns at Hounslow, which he also visited, for fruit and vegetable cultivation, to enhance the students’ training programme.
In noting that Newell High School is on the cusp of becoming a feeder school providing students matriculating at tertiary institutions offering agricultural training programmes, Mr. Buchanan said the Ministry will do everything possible to ensure this materializes.
Meanwhile, Member of Parliament for South West St. Elizabeth, where the school is situated, Hugh Buchanan, has welcomed the Ministry’s proposal.
Mr. Buchanan, who accompanied the State Minister on the tour, told JIS News that the decision redound to the broader benefit of the large population of young people in St. Elizabeth, currently engaged in this activity.
“One of the areas where you have a large percentage of youth already in agriculture is in the southern belt of St. Elizabeth. Newell High School is one of our secondary educational institutions that lie within that belt, and it is surrounded by the Hounslow irrigation system as well as the Little Park Bacon System. A lot of these students who go to Newell High School have parents who are active farmers; so getting them involved is very high (in our plans),” he said.
Others accompanying the State Minister included senior Ministry technocrats, as well as officials from the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), and NIC.
Newell High School was founded in 1970, and currently has a student population of 970 with 48 teachers, headed by Principal, Paul Grant.