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Clubbite of the Year for 2002, Tyrone Thomas, has outlined four strategies young persons should employ, in order to respond positively to Jamaica’s food security.
He emphasised that they must recognise and accept roles they have to play in food production; become more environmentally aware; change the negative perception about agriculture; and treat agriculture as a viable business.
Mr. Thomas was speaking at the Manchester 4-H Clubs Parish Achievement Day ceremony, held on March 5, at the Kirkvine Sports Club, in the parish.
He pointed out that the 4-H Clubs provide training for clubbites in the area of food production, so the young persons could use that training to play their role in food security. He said that by becoming more environmentally aware, they could make a significant contribution to sustainable agriculture.
Mr. Thomas explained that there are many career paths that can be pursued in agriculture and therefore young persons need to change the negative perception that they may have about the sector, as well as to treat agriculture as a viable business option.
“As youths, you need to gain an appreciation for agriculture. By doing so, you will play a vital role, not only in the growing of crops and the rearing of animals, but to do your part in transferring great knowledge to your peers and your parents who are, most times, not eagerly receptive to new farming techniques and strategies,” he said.
Mr. Thomas said that with the average age of farmers in Jamaica being approximately 55 years, the agricultural sector would suffer if young persons are not encouraged to get involved.
“Without suitable replacement, the agricultural sector will suffer dramatically from the lack of new and creative ideas, expertise and manpower in the long term,” he said.
He pointed out that the involvement of young people in agriculture and food security, can contribute to Jamaica’s social and economic development, and that the achievement of food security is one of the most critical obligations of the country.”We must not be dependent on the uncertainties of food supplies from other countries,” he stressed.
Mr. Thomas said that 4-H clubbites have a grand opportunity to learn the necessary skills to contribute much to food security.
“Jamaica is a country with great potential and a greater portion of the potential lies in the heads, hearts, hands and health of its youths. Therefore, Jamaica’s potential for development is greatly dependent on the youths. The will and energy of youths needs to be mobilised in a collective way. By doing this as a nation, we can achieve great results in getting youths to respond positively to our country’s food security,” he said.
There are currently more that 4,000 clubbites in schools and community clubs in Manchester. The Parish Achievement Day was held under the theme: ‘Youth Response to Food Security’.

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