Agriculture The Way Forward – State Minister Cummings

Young persons in St. Thomas are being urged to become more involved in agriculture through avenues such as the National Youth Service and the Youth in Agriculture programme.
At a recent public consultation in St. Thomas to sensitize participants about a proposal for the creation of a development plan for that parish, Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, Victor Cummings said plans were being implemented to make agricultural studies a part of the compulsory training for participants in the National Youth Service.
“We’re now doing a pilot project of Youth in Agriculture and what we plan on doing is to see how we can get young people interested in agriculture and get them back on the farms as we are really an agrarian society and so we need to get back to that,” he said.This proposal he added is to be taken to Cabinet for its support.
Mr. Cummings who has portfolio responsibility for the 4-H Movement and the Youth in Agriculture programme also pointed out that through the 4-H Movement the Ministry of Education and Youth was re-introducing the school garden programme. “We recently had a discussion with 4-H to see about expanding the current programme, focusing on the entire island, and working closely with the schools and having young people involved with the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS),” he added.
The public consultation was a joint effort of the Parish Development Committee (PDC), the Parish Council (PC) and the Social Development Commission (SDC). It was aimed at sensitising the public about the proposed plan and to have the related issues addressed.
These include the development of tourism and agriculture sectors, and the diversification of the latter as a means of moving forward with sustainable development in the parish.

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