JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Jamaica Bauxite Institute (JBI) has granted $4.8 million in scholarships to eight students attending the Portland-based College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE).
  • The two-year scholarships, valued at $600,000 each ($300,000 per year) are being provided under the inaugural JBI/Alcan Rio Tinto Legacy Fund Scholarship Programme. The awards cover the cost of tuition, boarding, meals, among other things.
  • Beneficiaries are students residing in JBI greenhouse cluster areas in Clarendon, Manchester, St. Ann, St. Catherine and St. Elizabeth.

The Jamaica Bauxite Institute (JBI) has granted $4.8 million in scholarships to eight students attending the Portland-based College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE).

The two-year scholarships, valued at $600,000 each ($300,000 per year) are being provided under the inaugural JBI/Alcan Rio Tinto Legacy Fund Scholarship Programme. The awards cover the cost of tuition, boarding, meals, among other things.

Beneficiaries are students residing in JBI greenhouse cluster areas in Clarendon, Manchester, St. Ann, St. Catherine and St. Elizabeth.

Six of the eight scholarship recipients have already been identified and began studies in the 2018/2019 academic year. The other two students, who are yet to be chosen, are slated to begin studies in September.

Transport and Mining Minister, Hon. Robert Montague, in his remarks at the signing ceremony held at his St. Andrew office on Thursday (May 2), said that the scholarship programme is an investment in the country’s future.

Transport and Mining Minister, Hon. Robert Montague (right), signs documents for the inaugural Jamaica Bauxite Institute (JBI)/ Alcan Rio Tinto Legacy Fund Scholarship Programme at his office in St. Andrew on Thursday (May 2). Also signing are first-year General Agriculture student at the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE), Shanile Scott (second right); and Acting Director, Jamaica Bauxite Institute (JBI), Dr. Hugh Lambert. Observing is Administrator of the Bauxite Community Development Programme (BCDP), Dr. Dianne Gordon.

 

“The investment is being made in these eight young farmers and this is speaking to sustainability, not only of the greenhouse cluster projects, but also the sustainability of the communities. This scholarship will put you on a pathway that opens the whole world to you,” he told the students.

Mr. Montague encouraged them to use their education “to unlock the potential of indigenous herbs and spices and create new markets for these crops”.

“Don’t be constrained in the traditional way of how you think of agriculture. Think of the linkages in agriculture; think of how you can process and extract and break new ground. As a young farmer, it means you can break down the barriers, plough new fields and develop new ideas,” he pointed out.

In his remarks, Acting Director of the JBI, Dr. Hugh Lambert, encouraged the awardees to give back to their communities.

“When you graduate, we hope that you are going to go back and help to improve on the scientific delivery of agricultural knowledge to our farmers,” he said.

Scholarship recipient, Shanile Scott, who said she has always had a love for plants, told JIS News that her ambition is to go into agro-processing.

“To get this scholarship, I am very grateful because it is a very big opportunity for me to (pursue) my passion for agriculture,” she said.

Allister Gardener said he is excited by the opportunities in agriculture and is interested in combining this with his interest in pharmaceutical sciences.

“Seeing that JBI has invested in me, I will make it a point of duty to make them proud… . Agriculture is life… . It is very interesting and I see that I can make a very good living from agriculture,” he noted.

The scholarship programme was created to facilitate sustainability of the JSIF/JBI Water Harvesting and Greenhouse Cluster Project, which is administered under the Bauxite Community Development Programme (BCDP).

Beneficiaries are students pursuing the Associate Degree in General Agriculture at CASE with special focus on greenhouse production and management.

Under the tenets of the agreement, the students will be required to complete 200 hours of work study at greenhouse sites in their respective parishes during each year of study. They will also have the opportunity to operate their own greenhouses following graduation.

Funding for the scholarship awards is being provided by the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ).