JIS News

The Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) has received some $150,000 in sponsorship cheques, which will go towards providing scholarships and prizes for young people, who win competitive events under the National Youth in Agriculture/School’s Agricultural Programme (NYA/SAP).
Representatives from eight of the 14 sponsors, which include private and public sector organizations and individuals, yesterday (July 13) handed over the cheques at a ceremony held at the Hope Gardens offices of the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands.
The competitive events, which are open to young people age nine to 35 years, will culminate at next month’s Denbigh Agricultural Show, and comprise public speaking, essay, poster, food technology, agriculture quiz and school farm competitions.
Participants will vie for the opportunity to become the champion boy and girl and win scholarships to the College of Agriculture, Science, and Education, the University of the West Indies and other institutions, among other prizes.
According to Coordinator of the programme, Brigitte Williams, some 30 applications have already come in from young people wishing to participate in the six competitive events that will take place on August 4, the first day of Denbigh, which will be dedicated as National Youth in Agriculture Day. This year’s theme is: ‘Agriculture: An Array of Opportunities for the Young.’
More than 200 young people participate every year, Miss Williams informed, adding that prizes will also be awarded to a champion school and a teacher.The contests, she said, serve to sensitize the youth about the importance of agriculture and ensure their participation.
The NYA/SAP was launched in 1998 as a merger between the National Youth in Agriculture Committee and the School’s Agricultural Programme operated by RADA, with an aim to implement various activities to promote youth involvement in agriculture.
The major sponsors of the programme are: Bank of Nova Scotia, RBTT Bank; National Commercial Bank; Coconut Industry Board; Jamaica Agriculture and Development Foundation, Jamaica Broilers; Newport Fersan; Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA); Capital and Credit Merchant Bank; Victoria Mutual Building Society; Development Bank of Jamaica; publisher and Member of Parliament for Central Clarendon, Lester ‘Mike’ Henry and State Minister of National Security and Member of Parliament for Eastern Portland, Dr. Donald Rhodd.