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Call to put agriculture on school curriculum

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

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A call has been made for agriculture to take a prominent place on the secondary school curriculum.
Head of the agricultural extension department of the Ministry of Agriculture, Barney Callender, said it should be compulsory that every student spend at least three years studying the subject.
Pointing out that increased emphasis on agriculture could reduce both unemployment and Barbados’ high food bill, he stressed the need for more young people to get involved in the sector.
“There is compelling evidence of an ageing farming population in Barbados which must be addressed to facilitate the sustainability of agricultural production and, by extension, food availability.
“In order for agriculture to be sustainable it must be carried on. If those who are involved in agriculture are old, the only persons left to take agriculture forward are the youth,” he said.
Callender was addressing the opening of the Youth in Agriculture Programme’s eight-day summer intervention at the Barbados Community College yesterday. The year-long programme is organized by the office of the advisor on poverty eradication and the Millennium Development Goals.
He advised the young people to “put pressure on the Government” to give them access to agricultural land that had gone out of production.
He also called for special incentives and financing solutions for young farmers. (NB)