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Agricultural science to be reintroduced at HLSCC — Wheatley

Dr Natalio Wheatley

Minister for Education & Agriculture Dr Natalio Wheatley has said government will be putting measures in place to have the curriculum of Agricultural Science reintroduced at the tertiary level.

Dr Wheatley made the announcement at a recent session in the House of Assembly where he said the programme will be implemented at the H Lavity Stoutt Community College.

He said: “Given the fact that agriculture is an up and coming industry in the Virgin Islands, I have mandated that Agriculture Science again become a programme of study in our community college.”

He also said that government will be ensuring that scholarships are made available for students in the territory who are interested in furthering their education in the agricultural sector.

“I have appointed Mr Coy Smith as a member of our scholarship board to ensure that this area is given priority in the awarding of scholarships, and I must say as well the H Lavity Stoutt Community College has established relationships with universities around the world for our students to attend there to get degrees in agriculture,” Dr Wheatley added.

Programmes to develop new generation of farmers

In the meantime, the Education Minister acknowledged some of the other agriculture programmes which are currently implemented at other schools locally.

He said these programmes are laying the foundation to have more farmers in the territory in years to come.

“I also must make mention of the school garden programme that exists in many of our schools. I have witnessed gardens such as the Francis Lettsome garden, supported by local farmers and Green VI, which revealed amazing potential for the creation of a new generation of farmers,” Dr Wheatley stated.

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  1. LAST MUGARIWA says:

    Thank you Minister for the push ups and the greater intention to reintroduce this curriculum in your academic course offered by the college.I am not a local but i work here and i have great intentions to be enrolled under this programme when it starts.

  2. Diaspora says:

    Why was agricultural science introduced and later drop at HLSCC and will its reintroduction generate any more interest? What, if anything, is animating the new interest? VI self sufficiency in food production is not promising due to a number of factors, ie, transition from agriculture-based economy to services, scarcity of arable land, water scarcity, use of once arable for housing and other uses, import competition, retiring of older farmers …….etc. Further, for food security, healthier and fresher food, keeping money local…….etc, the VI should produce as much food as possible and practical.

    In spite of the challenges, several things need to happen, ie, effecting national behavioral change, incentivizing investing in agriculture, creating interest in agriculture, developing and rolling out a master plan, farm to market transportation and assistance, ……..etc to optimize agricultural production During the past year, ministries have been rolling out a number of discrete programmes with little to no national or master plan as the hub, the core.

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