JIS News

The Knockalva Agricultural School, in Ramble, Hanover, has won the first Pesticide Control Authority (PCA), championship trophy, by defeating the Sydney Pagon Agricultural High School, in an inaugural quiz competition.
The competition was staged by the PCA, as part of its observance of Pesticides Awareness Week from September 21 to 27.
With Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) Western Regional Director, Bernard Goffe, performing the role of “quiz master”, the competition, which was held on the grounds of the Knockalva Agricultural School on Thursday (Sept. 25), saw Knockalva scoring 38 points against Sydney Pagon’s 29 points. The Knockalva team which comprised Lotoya Barnett, Faith Daley, Jesse-jo Johnson, and Sheldon Poyser, received trophies, medals, and cash awards for their efforts.
Registrar of the PCA, Michael Ramsay, told JIS News, that the objective of the quiz is to foster the dissemination of more information on the safe use of pesticides among agriculture students. He expressed the hope that the information garnered by the students will be carried over into their agricultural careers.
“This year, being the first, the competition is only between Knockalva and The Sydney Pagon School. We are expecting that in future years, we will bring in other agricultural institutions such as Ebony Park,” he stated.
He explained that agencies such as RADA, the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), and the 4H Movement, have all played supporting roles in getting the competition started.
Mr. Ramsay expressed the hope that agencies and organisations involved in pesticide manufacturing, marketing and use, will see the educational benefits of such an event and come on board as sponsors for future competitions.
Underscoring the importance of public education on proper pesticide use, Mr. Ramsay pointed out that pesticides are poisonous and should not be taken for granted. He said having regulations and monitoring systems in place is not enough to ensure the proper use of pesticides, and added that continuous education to try and get persons to carry out the correct practices, when using these poisonous materials, will redound to the benefit of all.
Pesticide Awareness week was observed throughout the English Speaking Caribbean from September 21 to 27, under the theme ‘Food Security in a Healthy Environment’.