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The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, and the Clarendon-based Ebony Park Academy, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Wednesday (September 15), expected to boost output in the livestock industry and train farming contributors.
Speaking at the signing at the Academy, Toll Gate, Clarendon, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, said the collaboration will benefit small and large players, and will put the agricultural sector on a firm footing to deliver quality outputs.
“Our small ruminant sector is special to us, because we have a history of small ruminant production, goat in particular, more recently sheep. It can be captured both as a large scale endeavor but, more importantly, it could also be captured as a small scale endeavour,” he outlined.
He added that the partnership between his ministry and the HEART Trust/NTA is also a continuing effort to modernize the agricultural sector, and ensure that students and farmers are equipped with the best technological skills available.
“When we speak about a modern agricultural sector, what we are essentially saying, we want new approaches, new technologies to be employed, and we want the energy of youth and young people to see agriculture as a career choice, and as an option that allows them to practice and enjoy in the process of making a living,” Dr. Tufton emphasized.
The MOU is an initiative towards developing the small ruminant sector of the livestock industry, and for HEART Trust/NTA to benefit more from the Ministry’s facilities in training and certification of local and regional participants. The Ebony Park facility has a herd size of over 250 goats of selected breeds and their crosses.
“It is a broader framework to move agriculture forward, and an effort to increase productivity in agriculture, and the other sectors in which we trade,” stated Executive Director of the HEART Trust/NTA, Dr. Carolyn Hayle, as she addressed the signing of the MOU.