New attitude towards agriculture
AGRICULTURE IN BARBADOS has a hopeful future thanks to youth, science and technology.
Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Esworth Reid said there was a resurgence of interest in agriculture by young people who were ready to do things differently.
“A new generation of youth is showing excitement about becoming involved in the agricultural sector. Through our youth programme entitled Youth in Agriculture, a core of young people are being trained to recognise agriculture as a natural thing and a source of employment,” he said.
However, Reid, addressing the inaugural Caribbean Pacific Agri-Food Forum opening ceremony in the Walcott Warner Theatre of the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination this morning, said it could not be business as usual as today’s youth were not interested in “hoe and fork” agriculture.
“They are indicating they are looking to research and to carry out experiments and they are not interested in the traditional agricultural practices that have been with us since colonial days. This kind of new attitude is giving Barbados the opportunity to further develop the value added chain from primary to manufacturing, especially in regard to the development of new products,” he said.
In addition, Reid said the scientific field was also showing an interest in agriculture, developing new types of fibres, products, medicines and techniques.
“Barbados is set to take off on a path of sustainable economic growth and becoming what we call a developed country . . . and I am excited to see what is going to happen next,” he said. (CA)