JIS News

Story Highlights

  • As part of its mission to become self-sufficient in some agricultural produce and to participate fully in the Ministry of Agriculture’s ‘Eat Jamaican’ campaign, the administration at the Anchovy High School, in St. James, has expanded its school farm.
  • The Principal tells JIS News that apart from feeding itself, the administration is seeking to use agriculture and the sciences to expose students to the latest technologies available in the sector, especially in the areas of poultry and rabbit rearing and banana and vegetable production.
  • Regarded as one of the leading high schools in Western Jamaica in terms of its focus on agriculture, Mr. Robinson said the aim at Anchovy High is to move into greenhouse technology, although the institution currently does not have the land space and financial backing to start the process.

As part of its mission to become self-sufficient in some agricultural produce and to participate fully in the Ministry of Agriculture’s ‘Eat Jamaican’ campaign, the administration at the Anchovy High School, in St. James, has expanded its school farm.

The school has moved decisively into banana, poultry, rabbit and vegetable farming, with the Principal, Lambert Robinson, hoping that in a short while, the institution will be able to supply the canteen with all its needs in those areas.

Anchovy High, with assistance from the European Union (EU), recently established a banana nursery on the school compound, where special varieties of the fruit are being grown and will be used to expand the cultivation of the crop as well as to make plants available to other farmers in St. James.

The Principal tells JIS News that apart from feeding itself, the administration is seeking to use agriculture and the sciences to expose students to the latest technologies available in the sector, especially in the areas of poultry and rabbit rearing and banana and vegetable production.

“The idea behind setting up the banana plot is not just restricted to agricultural farming. We want to constantly expose our children to the latest in technologies that can interest them at an early stage of their career fields,” Mr. Robinson adds.

“For those who are interested in agricultural science, we want to have the best training available to them in order to give them a good start…we have 15 or 16 of the latest varieties of disease-resistant bananas on this plot. That is a huge step up from where we (school and parish) and where we want to go,” he says.

The Principal explains that poultry production is where he wants the school to make its mark. “We want to be able to sustain the protein need at the school’s canteen. At the moment we are unable to do so, but I think very soon we will be able to produce enough chicken meat to satisfy that demand and may even venture into selling some to the public,” he adds.

Mr. Robinson says the school has expanded its curriculum to include subjects dealing with the sciences – Chemistry, Physics, Biology and Information Technology – to ensure that students with those interests are placed on the cutting edge of technology.

He points out that the 70 students who will be sitting Agricultural Science at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) level this year are allowed to gain first-hand experience by “working” in the banana nursery, on the vegetable farm as well as on the poultry and rabbit farms.

Regarded as one of the leading high schools in Western Jamaica in terms of its focus on agriculture, Mr. Robinson said the aim at Anchovy High is to move into greenhouse technology, although the institution currently does not have the land space and financial backing to start the process.

However, he says with Anchovy High’s Campus Two set to come on stream shortly at the former Montpelier Agricultural School, real estate will then be available to move into greenhouse farming, once the funding becomes available.

“We want to be on top using the latest technologies available. That is why we welcome the second campus where we can do much more farming,” the Principal tells JIS News.

Anchovy High School, which currently operates a double shift system, has 2,200 students and 98 teachers.