JIS News

Eleven students at the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE) have been awarded scholarships totalling just over $1.6 million to finance their studies.

The presentations were made at the CASE Alumni Evening of Excellence Gala Dinner and Awards Banquet held on April 31 at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, St. Andrew.

The students, who are pursuing degree programmes in areas such as veterinary science, agricultural and food systems management, environmental science, animal science, and business administration, were selected based on financial need as well as academic performance (grade-point average of 3.0 and above).

Provision of the scholarships was made possible through the alumni association and entities and organisations investing in the agricultural training of students.

During the function, five stalwarts of the local agricultural sector and the Ole Farmers Association for North America, which comprises graduates of CASE, were recognised for outstanding contribution.

Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., in his address at the ceremony, said that greater focus will be placed on nurturing the development of young agricultural practitioners, particularly given the imperative of ensuring food security.

“We are going to have to take all of the steps to prepare ourselves to be ready for what is to come. Food security is the big concern for us all, and I want to assure you that at the Ministry we are ready to work with CASE… . We are focused on solving our challenges,” he said.

Minister of Education and Youth, Hon. Fayval Williams, in her remarks, commended CASE and its predecessor institutions for their contribution to the development of Jamaica in the fields of agriculture, science and education.

These institutions, which were consolidated to form CASE, are the Government Farm School (GFS), Jamaica School of Agriculture (JSA), College of Agriculture (COA) and Passley Gardens Teachers’ College (PGTC).

“Throughout the many changes in name and programme direction, you have made and continue to make an immeasurable contribution to Jamaica’s economic and social development,” Minister Williams said.

She noted that the impact of the institution is reflected in the outstanding work provided by graduates locally, regionally and internationally in agricultural and related science sectors, as well as through voluntary and community-based initiatives.

Minister Williams also congratulated all the award recipients “for the work you have done and continue to do”.

President of the CASE Alumni Association, Pius Lacan, for his part, said that the scholarship programme provides critical mentorship and assistance for the new generation of actors in the sector.

“We have a mandate to ensure that our students… are able to fulfil their career objectives so they can add value to enhance competencies in the various sectors of agriculture education and science, so that as a nation we can create greater wealth from a sustainable perspective,” he noted.

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