JIS News

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Mr. Donavan Stanberry, has called on agricultural training institutions to focus on areas that will put the sector on a sustainable path.
“We are at a point where the business of agricultural education has to re-invent itself. Agriculture education must support the new agriculture, one that is technology driven, one that is market oriented and one that continuously seeks to improve production methodologies. That is what going to cause prosperity to our farmers, and rural development,” he told a panel discussion held at the Mandeville Parish Church, on February 24.
The forum was organised by the Jamaica School of Agriculture, and the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (JSA/CASE) Old Student’s Association, to mark the 100th anniversary of the JSA.
Mr. Stanberry emphasised the need to break from the past in agricultural cultivation.”The new agriculture is more than planting and watering. We have to find innovative ways of bringing the technology to those people. In that regard, one of the greatest needs in the agricultural sector is the need for proper extension training. Extension is a particular skill, and nothing is more required now than good agricultural extension (services),” he said.
Noting that while the field personnel will not be able to tackle everything that they are faced with, he said their training must equip them to identify certain problems and make necessary referrals.
“We have to develop modular courses in specialized area. Our training institutions must be flexible enough to be able to find solutions with the training that they offer,” he said.