Second-year students of the Division of Agriculture at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology (SJPI) have been certified in the construction and management of greenhouses, under a Protected Agriculture course.
The course, which ran from January to May 2018, sensitised students on greenhouse farming best practices. It was the result of a recent project collaboration between the SJPI and the Food Crop Research and Development Department of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management.
The training focused on the building of PVC and wooden greenhouses, as well as the cultivation of traditional crops, such as thyme and sweet peppers, and non-traditional crops, such as Swiss chard, within the structures.
Thirteen students received certificates during a graduation ceremony yesterday at the Ministry of Agriculture, which also saw them delivering presentations on their group projects.
Encouraging the students to put the knowledge gained into practice, Chief Agricultural Officer, Lennox Chandler, emphasised that it was imperative that persons, especially those involved in medium to large scale farming, understood the rudiments of agriculture before they got involved in the cultivation of crops. “Agriculture is not as simple as some may think…. It’s a science,” he maintained.
Mr. Chandler also reiterated the Ministry’s commitment to exposing young people interested in agriculture to the skills and expertise necessary to put them on the right path, stating: “If it’s your dream pursue it and all the best. The Ministry is here to give you advice.”
The students were also lauded by Instructor at the SJPI, Julie Holder, who acknowledged their hard work and dedication over the duration of the course. “I’m incredibly proud of our SJPI agricultural second-year students and all of the fantastic work they have done in this Protective Agriculture Course,” she said.
Ms. Holder also commended the Ministry of Agriculture for its assistance, while disclosing that the greenhouses constructed by the students would be displayed during Caribbean Week of Agriculture, slated to be held in Barbados in October.