Minister of Agriculture, Dr. David Estwick wants to see more emphasis being placed on training and research in agriculture.
He made the comment following a tour of Newcastle, St. John earlier this week, where he met with farmers to address some of the chronic problems affecting their crop production.
Dr. Estwick said he would seek to hold discussions between ministry officials and the Barbados Community College to explore the possibility of creating a facility for ongoing training for local agriculturalists.
Such an institution, he pointed out, would have tremendous benefits for the local sector, particularly in terms of production.
Dr. Estwick also touched on the issue of youth in agriculture, noting that many young Barbadians shied away from jobs in the sector because they did not see them as financially rewarding or prestigious.
"I am sure you know of agriculturalists who run plantations that are very wealthy in Barbados but the young people don’t know this or see it. So they are still caught up in believing that in order to make money you have to be a lawyer, engineer or some other type of profession," he observed.
To this end, the Agriculture Minister said his ministry would undertake a public relations campaign to highlight the successes of the sector.??????????????????????????
"What we have to do is bring the agricultural successes and let them be a mirror image [for the sector]. So part of this requires a public relations exercise … to try to get the message of?? not only what benefits you can accrue from agriculture but the value of agriculture to the country over the long term," Dr. Estwick concluded.??