A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed Friday August 6 between Jamaica’s Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and the University of Guelph, Canada, to foster collaboration in research, student and information exchange and technical assistance.
The signatories were Jamaica’s Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton, and Vice-President of Research at the university, Professor Kevin Hall.
In an interview with JIS News, Dr. Tufton said the agreement will seek to identify common areas for research, training and application in the field of agriculture.
The University of Guelph’s Vice-President of Research, Professor Kevin Hall (left) speaking with Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton (second left), following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Ministry and the University of Guelph in Canada on Friday (August 6). Looking on, are Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto, George Ramocan (third left); Dean of the Ontario Agricultural College, Professor Robert Gordon (third right); Chief Technical Director in Jamaica’s Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Dr. Marc Panton; and Senior Consulting Officer, Jampro North America, Nardia McKenzie.
“We intend to do some follow-up quickly to try and get a delegation to Jamaica to work with our research institutions, like the University of the West Indies, and to essentially match their skills set to our requirements and our skills set also and, therefore, form a mutually beneficial arrangement,” Dr. Tufton said.
He added that this would allow for the transfer of best practices in a number of areas, particularly in dairy and greenhouse technology.
The Minister is in Canada on an official visit from August 3 to 11. He described his visit, so far, as very informative, especially the tour of the Ontario Agricultural College, which is part of the University of Guelph.
“They are doing a lot of work, not just primary production, but also converting primary products into value-added products, environmentally friendly products, and other forms of agro business initiatives,” he said.
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton (second left), Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto, George Ramocan (second right), Chief Technical Director in the Ministry Dr. Marc Panton (left), closely examine bioplastics made from corn, shown by Director of the Bioproducts Discovery and Development Centre (BDDC) at the University of Guelph, Professor Amar Mohanty (right) during a tour of the university on Friday (August 6).
Established in 1874, the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC) is one of the founding colleges of the University of Guelph. It is a leader in “life sciences education and research” and focuses on four key areas – agriculture, food, the environment and rural communities.
Dr. Tufton and his delegation met with a number of faculty members of the OAC, and private sector personnel who are experts in the fields of crops, dairy, veterinary, greenhouse, tree fruits and bioproducts.
His delegation comprised: Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto, Seth George Ramocan; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Donovan Stanberry; Chief Technical Director in the Ministry, Dr. Marc Panton; Director of the Centre of Excellence for Advanced Technology, Dr. Derrick Deslandes; and Jampro North America’s Senior Consulting Officer, Nardia McKenzie.
Dr. Tufton then moved onto Ottawa, where he was expected to take part in the Independence activities of the Jamaican community, meet with Canadian officials and tour several agencies.