Government Will Seek to Attract Tertiary-Trained Agriculturalists to Farming – PM


Prime Minister Bruce Golding has disclosed that the Government will be seeking to boost the country’s agricultural production levels by getting agriculturalists who have been trained at the tertiary level, to return to farming.
In this regard strategies are being employed to introduce technological advances into the industry, partnered with improved institutional support that would attract such persons who have chosen alternative means of employment.
Mr. Bruce Golding in an interview with JIS News, said Cabinet had deliberated on the matter this week and that Agriculture Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton was working on that programme and is expected to take a report to Cabinet next week, to indicate how the matter will be addressed.
Part of the problem the Prime Minister said, “is that agriculture contributes less than six per cent to the economy but it employs 16 per cent of the workforce so what you have is 16 per cent of the labour force struggling to share six per cent of the wealth.” He said it is therefore imperative that productivity levels are improved to allow farmers to earn more from their efforts.
Mr. Golding stressed that only the days of ‘hoe and fork’ as a farmer’s only tools are long gone. He stressed that use of technology would enable farmers to compete just as efficiently as farmer in other parts of the world.
Prime Minister Golding pointed out that while the government might not be able to start at full throttle it is important that a start be made, and efforts expanded as the programme develops.
“What we need to do is provide two things: access to the technology and access to financing.access to the technology must include extension service support,” he said.
Mr. Golding pointed out that with the re-introduction of advanced technologies it was crucial that those who were tertiary trained be targeted. “It is those young farmers who have been exposed to higher levels of training in agriculture, in agronomics and so on who would be the ones best suited to absorb that technology and put it to good use,” he explained.

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