Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton, has charged Jamaican youths to use technology to develop themselves, their communities and the country.
He said that, increasingly Jamaicans are being empowered to do greater and better things, based on the development that emerges from research and technology.
“We, as Jamaicans, cannot allow the technology to pass us,” he urged the audience at the opening ceremony of the “Technologies for Youth Development” exposition, at the Hope Complex playfield, Kingston, on Tuesday (November 30).
He said that it was important for youth to use technology in productive ways, to advance Jamaica. He warned that there were negative ways in which persons can use technology but that, with guidance, it can be shaped into a tool of development and progression.
Plant operator, Petrojam Ethanol, Kirk Hayden (left), explains the features of a Toyota Prius motorcar to students of Dinthill Technical High School, at the ‘Technologies for Youth Development’ exposition at the Hope Complex playfield, Kingston on Tuesday (November 30).
“You can use technology to hurt people; you can use technology to hurt yourself. The video games are not always good. The computer doesn’t have only good things and, therefore, technology requires some guidance,” he warned.
“However, when used in the correct manner, when applied towards self development and community development and the development of new inventions and new products, technology can give you that edge in society, in your life, in your career, to put you above and beyond others that you have to compete with,” he added.
Dr. Tufton noted that the government of Jamaica, through the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, has been collaborating with a number of agencies, including the Scientific Research Council (SRC), to ensure the best and most modern forms of technology are used to grow healthy foods.
He noted that this was done in a number of ways, including to better prepare the land, to test the soil and to see what kind of nutrients are in the soil to ensure that the plants get the right food to grow well.
State Minister in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Senator Warren Newby (second left), watches as Manchester High School teacher, Winston Jones (right), demonstrates how to use a metal detector. Looking on are (from left): Manchester High School fifth form student, Shauna-Kay Doonquah and third form student, Allister Lester. They were attending the ‘Technologies for Youth Development’ exposition at the Hope Complex Play Field, Kingston, on Tuesday (November 30).
“We also use technology to put in drip irrigation systems, so that we don’t waste water, because water management is important to good cultivation. We ensure that we apply the right amount of sunshine, if we have to put in green house technology or shade houses,” Dr. Tufton explained.
Another speaker, Minister of State in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Senator Warren Newby, said the youth of Jamaica formed a central part of Vision 2030.
He remarked that, for the country to get to first world status by 2030, what is required is a set of youths empowered to take charge of their future, who accept and responsibly take risks to advance the cause of the people.
“We at the Ministry recognise that, if we are to transform the Jamaican society, if we are to create new opportunities and new avenues for wealth creation, it rests in youth entrepreneurship,” he stated.
“Entrepreneurship itself sits on innovation and innovation is the product of science and technology,” Senator Newby also stated.
Thousands of students from high schools across Jamaica turned out for the exposition, which was a follow up to last year’s “Your Health is Your Wealth” expo.
The function was organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, in conjunction with the SRC. It sought to provide young people with information on career options in the areas of science and technology. In addition it aimed to address the health and wellness concerns of youth, as well as citizens of surrounding communities.
Close to 30 public and private sector companies and agencies participated, including Digicel, the University of Technology (UTech), the University of the West Indies (UWI), Bio Technology Centre and the Jamaica Bauxite Institute (JBI).