A Government official believes that the agricultural sector in Barbados is not dead, and can return to its glory days.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Esworth Reid, expressed this view while speaking at the awards ceremony for the Ministry???s Grow Well School Gardening Competition, this morning at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

Mr. Reid was of the view that the number of schools that participated in the competition was proof that more young people were becoming interested in the agricultural sector.

He stated that through the competition, his Ministry was able to show primary and secondary school children the benefits of the sector in an enjoyable way.

???The Ministry was able, in a clever way, to demonstrate to a number of very young Barbadian school children that agriculture is not at all the dirty task in the world of work, that is reserved only for the uneducated, the barefooted and the rejects of society.

“I believe that these children were able to see the science and art of agriculture, and I have no doubt that this has captured their interest, which may very well someday, serve to have some of them considering pursuing a career in the field of agriculture,??? he said.

The Permanent Secretary revealed that his Ministry was often approached by innovative young people with interesting ideas to take the sector forward.?????A lot of them are looking for and identifying niches around which to build entrepreneurship and this is at both the level of primary production and along the value-added chain. ???.

???I have met young people who have already completed university education in various fields, even at the Master???s Degree level, in areas such as Finance, Economics, and other Natural Sciences, who have either already crossed over or are ready to cross over in careers in agriculture because of the viable employment and entrepreneurial opportunities that are presenting themselves in this field???.

The Grow Well School Gardening Competition, which was the first component of the Ministry of Agriculture???s Grow Well, Eat Well, Live Well, Right Here in BIM campaign, saw 20 primary and secondary schools vying for the top spot in the competition.

The Lodge School was the overall winner of the competition, while All Saints Primary won the most creative garden and first place in the Container Gardening competition.

Hillaby/Turner???s Hall copped first place in the Primary Open Field Competition, while St. George Secondary emerged victorious in the Secondary Open Field Competition. Ellerton Primary took first place in the Cultivation under Protected Gardening category.

aisha.reid@barbados.gov.bb

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