Minister of Agriculture announces School Farming Initiative

Fri, Dec 8th 2023, 10:23 AM

GOOD MORNING,

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US FOR TODAY’S PRESS CONFERENCE TO ANNOUNCEWHAT I THINK IS A WONDERFUL INITIATIVE. THE SCHOOL FARMING INITIATIVE ISMEANT TO BOOST AGRICULTURAL PROGRAMMES IN SCHOOLS ACROSS THECOUNTRY. THIS YEAR, THE MINISTRY STARTED A SIMILAR PROGRAMME THROUGHTHE AGRARIAN AWARDS WHERE ALL SCHOOLS THAT ENTERED RECEIVED CREDITAT LOCAL STORES TO ENHANCE THEIR PROGRAMMES. HOWEVER, WE WOULD LIKETHIS TO BE MORE FAR REACHING AND TOUCH AS MANY SCHOOLS AS POSSIBLE.

AND SO, THE MINISTRY HAS IDENTIFIED 15 SCHOOLS – WILL RECEIVE FARMINGMATERIALS, SEEDLINGS AND EQUIPMENT. EACH SCHOOL WILL RECEIVE $2,500.00,WHICH EQUATES TO AN INVESTMENT OF $37,500.00. THE SCHOOLS THAT WILLBENEFIT FROM THIS ROUND OF THE INITIATIVE ARE AS FOLLOWS:

1. DW DAVIS JUNIOR HIGH
2. LW YOUNG JUNIOR HIGH
3. SC MCPHERSON JUNIOR HIGH
4. CH REEVES JUNIOR HIGH
5. ANATOL RODGERS HIGH SCHOOL
6. CI GIBSON SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL
7. CV BETHEL SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL
8. GOVERNMENT HIGH SCHOOL
9. RM BAILEY HIGH SCHOOL
10.CENTRAL ANDROS HIGH SCHOOL
11.CENTRAL ELEUTHRA HIGH SCHOOL
12.NORTH LONG ISLAND HIGH SCHOOL
13.EIGHT MILE ROCK HIGH SCHOOL
14.ARTHUR’S TOWN HIGH SCHOOL
15.SAN SALVADOR HIGH SCHOOL

AGRICULTURE SHOULD ALWAYS BE AN ACADEMIC DISCIPLINE IN OUR SCHOOLSBECAUSE IT IS FUNDAMENTAL TO OUR SURVIVAL. THIS INITIATIVE NOT ONLYPROMOTES HANDS ON LEARNING AND PRACTICAL SKILLS FOR STUDENTS BUTALSO ENCOURAGES SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PRACTICES FROM A YOUNGAGE. BY SUPPORTING THESE PROGRAMS, THE MINISTRY IS HELPING TO CREATE AGENERATION OF ENVIRONMENTALLY CONSCIOUS INDIVIDUALS. WE HOPE THAT THIS WILL HELP TO EDUCATE STUDENTS ABOUT AGRICULTURE, PROMOTE SELFSUSTAINABILITY AND FOSTER A CONNECTION TO THE ENVIRONMENT.BECAUSE AGRICULTURE IS AN AGING PROFESSION IN THE BAHAMAS, SCHOOLFARMING PROGRAMMES ARE VITAL TO THE CAUSE OF OUR MINISTRY AS ITPROMOTES HANDS-ON LEARNING EXPERIENCES FOR STUDENTS, TEACHING THEMABOUT FOOD PRODUCTION AND ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP. THEY ALSOHELP STUDENTS TO DEVELOP SURVIVIAL SKILLS SUCH AS PROBLEM-SOLVING,TEAMWORK AND RESPONSIBILITY.

ADDITIONALLY, THESE PROGRAMS CAN CONTRIBUTE TO THE COUNTRY’S FOODSECURITY BY ENCOURAGING LOCAL FOOD PRODUCTION AND REDUCINGRELIANCE ON IMPORTED GOODS. IT CAN CREATE OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTSTO GROW THEIR OWN FRUITS AND VEGETABLES WHICH FOSTERS HEALTHY EATNG.

BY DONATING TO SCHOOLS AROUND THE BAHAMAS, THE MINISTRY OFAGRICULTURE AND MARINE RESOURCES IS INVESTING IN THE FUTURE OFAGRICULTURE AND EMPOWERING YOUNG PEOPLE TO BECOME ACTIVEPARTICIPANTS IN SUSTAINABLE FOOD PRODUCTION. WE SEE THIS INITIATIVE ASHAVING LONG-LASTING BENEFITS FOR THE STUDENTS, SCHOOLS ANDCOMMUNITIES AROUND THE COMMONWEALTH OF THE BAHAMAS.

I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO ENCOURAGE PARENTS TO ALLOW THEIR CHILDREN TO BEINVOLVED IN AGRICULTURE AND SEE IT AS A POTENTIAL LIFETIME CAREER. THERE ISA GROWING DEMAND FOR SUSTAINABLE LOCALLY-PRODUCED FOOD, WHICHPRESENTS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR YOUNG FARMERS TO ENTER THE MARKET ANDCATER TO THIS INCREASING DEMAND. SO, BY BEING EDUCATED IN SCHOOLS ON THIS VITAL PART OF THE ECONOMY, IT MAY AID THEM TO CONSIDER THIS SECTORIN CAREER CHOICES, WHEREAS THEY MAY NEVER HAD OF CONSIDERED ITBEFORE, WITHOUT HAVING BEING EDUCATED ON IT AND WHAT IT ENTAILS.

MOREOVER, ADVANCEMENTS IN TECHNOLOGY HAVE REVOLUTIONIZED THEAGRICULTURAL INDUSTRY, MAKING IT MORE EFFICIENT AND PRODUCTIVE. YOUNGFARMERS CAN UTILIZE THESE TECHNOLOGIES AND INNOVATIVE TECHNIQUES TOMAXIMIZE THEIR YIELDS AND REDUCE COSTS, LEADING TO HIGHER PROFITS.

FURTHERMORE, THERE ARE VARIOUS GOVERNMENT INCENTIVES AND SUPPORTPROGRAMMES SUCH AS THE SUSTAINABLE FOOD GROWTH GRANT AVAILABLETHROUGH THE SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTRE THAT AIMS TOENCOURAGE AND SUPPORT YOUNG INDIVIDUALS IN STARTING THEIR OWNAGRICULTURAL BUSINESSES.

CONCLUSIVELY, THE MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND MARINE RESOURCES ISSEEKING TO SUPPORT OUR YOUNG PEOPLE IN AGRICULTURE ANY WAY WE CAN.

WE HOPE THAT THE SCHOOL FARMING INITIATIVE WILL BE SEEN AS AN INVESTMENTIN THE COUNTRY’S FOOD SECURITY AND A BRIGHTER AND MORE SUSTAINABLEFUTURE. THANK YOU.

GOOD MORNING,
THANK YOU FOR JOINING US FOR TODAY’S PRESS CONFERENCE TO ANNOUNCE
WHAT I THINK IS A WONDERFUL INITIATIVE. THE SCHOOL FARMING INITIATIVE IS
MEANT TO BOOST AGRICULTURAL PROGRAMMES IN SCHOOLS ACROSS THE
COUNTRY. THIS YEAR, THE MINISTRY STARTED A SIMILAR PROGRAMME THROUGH
THE AGRARIAN AWARDS WHERE ALL SCHOOLS THAT ENTERED RECEIVED CREDIT
AT LOCAL STORES TO ENHANCE THEIR PROGRAMMES. HOWEVER, WE WOULD LIKE
THIS TO BE MORE FAR REACHING AND TOUCH AS MANY SCHOOLS AS POSSIBLE.
AND SO, THE MINISTRY HAS IDENTIFIED 15 SCHOOLS – WILL RECEIVE FARMING
MATERIALS, SEEDLINGS AND EQUIPMENT. EACH SCHOOL WILL RECEIVE $2,500.00,
WHICH EQUATES TO AN INVESTMENT OF $37,500.00. THE SCHOOLS THAT WILL
BENEFIT FROM THIS ROUND OF THE INITIATIVE ARE AS FOLLOWS:
1. DW DAVIS JUNIOR HIGH
2. LW YOUNG JUNIOR HIGH
3. SC MCPHERSON JUNIOR HIGH
4. CH REEVES JUNIOR HIGH
5. ANATOL RODGERS HIGH SCHOOL
6. CI GIBSON SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL
7. CV BETHEL SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL
8. GOVERNMENT HIGH SCHOOL
9. RM BAILEY HIGH SCHOOL
10.CENTRAL ANDROS HIGH SCHOOL
11.CENTRAL ELEUTHRA HIGH SCHOOL
12.NORTH LONG ISLAND HIGH SCHOOL
13.EIGHT MILE ROCK HIGH SCHOOL
14.ARTHUR’S TOWN HIGH SCHOOL
15.SAN SALVADOR HIGH SCHOOL
AGRICULTURE SHOULD ALWAYS BE AN ACADEMIC DISCIPLINE IN OUR SCHOOLS
BECAUSE IT IS FUNDAMENTAL TO OUR SURVIVAL. THIS INITIATIVE NOT ONLY
PROMOTES HANDS ON LEARNING AND PRACTICAL SKILLS FOR STUDENTS BUT
ALSO ENCOURAGES SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PRACTICES FROM A YOUNG
AGE. BY SUPPORTING THESE PROGRAMS, THE MINISTRY IS HELPING TO CREATE A
GENERATION OF ENVIRONMENTALLY CONSCIOUS INDIVIDUALS. WE HOPE THAT 
THIS WILL HELP TO EDUCATE STUDENTS ABOUT AGRICULTURE, PROMOTE SELFSUSTAINABILITY AND FOSTER A CONNECTION TO THE ENVIRONMENT.
BECAUSE AGRICULTURE IS AN AGING PROFESSION IN THE BAHAMAS, SCHOOL
FARMING PROGRAMMES ARE VITAL TO THE CAUSE OF OUR MINISTRY AS IT
PROMOTES HANDS-ON LEARNING EXPERIENCES FOR STUDENTS, TEACHING THEM
ABOUT FOOD PRODUCTION AND ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP. THEY ALSO
HELP STUDENTS TO DEVELOP SURVIVIAL SKILLS SUCH AS PROBLEM-SOLVING,
TEAMWORK AND RESPONSIBILITY.
ADDITIONALLY, THESE PROGRAMS CAN CONTRIBUTE TO THE COUNTRY’S FOOD
SECURITY BY ENCOURAGING LOCAL FOOD PRODUCTION AND REDUCING
RELIANCE ON IMPORTED GOODS. IT CAN CREATE OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS
TO GROW THEIR OWN FRUITS AND VEGETABLES WHICH FOSTERS HEALTHY EATNG.
BY DONATING TO SCHOOLS AROUND THE BAHAMAS, THE MINISTRY OF
AGRICULTURE AND MARINE RESOURCES IS INVESTING IN THE FUTURE OF
AGRICULTURE AND EMPOWERING YOUNG PEOPLE TO BECOME ACTIVE
PARTICIPANTS IN SUSTAINABLE FOOD PRODUCTION. WE SEE THIS INITIATIVE AS
HAVING LONG-LASTING BENEFITS FOR THE STUDENTS, SCHOOLS AND
COMMUNITIES AROUND THE COMMONWEALTH OF THE BAHAMAS.
I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO ENCOURAGE PARENTS TO ALLOW THEIR CHILDREN TO BE
INVOLVED IN AGRICULTURE AND SEE IT AS A POTENTIAL LIFETIME CAREER. THERE IS
A GROWING DEMAND FOR SUSTAINABLE LOCALLY-PRODUCED FOOD, WHICH
PRESENTS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR YOUNG FARMERS TO ENTER THE MARKET AND
CATER TO THIS INCREASING DEMAND. SO, BY BEING EDUCATED IN SCHOOLS ON 
THIS VITAL PART OF THE ECONOMY, IT MAY AID THEM TO CONSIDER THIS SECTOR
IN CAREER CHOICES, WHEREAS THEY MAY NEVER HAD OF CONSIDERED IT
BEFORE, WITHOUT HAVING BEING EDUCATED ON IT AND WHAT IT ENTAILS.
MOREOVER, ADVANCEMENTS IN TECHNOLOGY HAVE REVOLUTIONIZED THE
AGRICULTURAL INDUSTRY, MAKING IT MORE EFFICIENT AND PRODUCTIVE. YOUNG
FARMERS CAN UTILIZE THESE TECHNOLOGIES AND INNOVATIVE TECHNIQUES TO
MAXIMIZE THEIR YIELDS AND REDUCE COSTS, LEADING TO HIGHER PROFITS.
FURTHERMORE, THERE ARE VARIOUS GOVERNMENT INCENTIVES AND SUPPORT
PROGRAMMES SUCH AS THE SUSTAINABLE FOOD GROWTH GRANT AVAILABLE
THROUGH THE SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTRE THAT AIMS TO
ENCOURAGE AND SUPPORT YOUNG INDIVIDUALS IN STARTING THEIR OWN
AGRICULTURAL BUSINESSES.
CONCLUSIVELY, THE MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND MARINE RESOURCES IS
SEEKING TO SUPPORT OUR YOUNG PEOPLE IN AGRICULTURE ANY WAY WE CAN.
WE HOPE THAT THE SCHOOL FARMING INITIATIVE WILL BE SEEN AS AN INVESTMENT
IN THE COUNTRY’S FOOD SECURITY AND A BRIGHTER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE
FUTURE. THANK YOU.
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