Minister commends CASE on efforts to promote agriculture
PASSLEY GARDENS, Portland:
Minister with responsibility for Agriculture and Fisheries, Pearnel Charles Jr, heaped praises on what he described as the stellar efforts of the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE) in taking the lead role as it seeks to expand agriculture in the region.
Charles was the keynote speaker at CASE and its alumni association over the weekend, where he described the progress made by that institution as remarkable – in taking a leading role in providing opportunities to students in a career path and also its effort in promoting agriculture locally, with the likelihood of expanding it throughout the region.
“The reality is that this institution, CASE is critical to us as a country [in] achieving food security,” Charles said.
He continued, “It is critical to us a country to be able to have sustainable agriculture, because we must train up the next era of agriculture scientists, economist, and culturist [agriculturist], who will be able to take agriculture to another level. This year we intend to continue to provide assistance to CASE and to provide the support in technical and financial support. Our intention is to continue to push CASE in establishing enterprises.
“To push you as students, as staff members, to be the epicentre of research and development for our region. To push you to be the innovators, the creators, the ones who will force agriculture into the new era. The alumni of this institution have been particularly strong and particularly deliberate in the support of scholarships, and I want to acknowledge you alumni and to urge you to continue in your service.”
Since January 2011, the College of Agriculture, Science and Education, through its alumni association, executes a weekend of activities called Founders’ Weekend, celebrating its founding fathers as well as providing a platform for past and current students of the institution to interact in a meaningful way.
Education Minister Fayval Williams, who also attended the weekend event, said that it was a pleasure for her as minister to attend the Founders Weekend celebration, which is aimed at sensitising students about the long journey that the school has had and also about the part played by the founding fathers of that facility.
“CASE has a distinguished past as a pioneer in animal production through the work of Dr T.P. Lecky, a Jamaican animal scientist, who discovered the Jamaican Hope and Jamaica black breeds of cattle, “she said.
“Over the past 130 years CASE, has been a stalwart in tertiary institution. It’s coeducational, it’s multidisciplinary, is dedicated to the training of students in the arts and science of agriculture and allied disciplines. The college continues to be a viable tertiary option for many of Jamaica’s young people, who are serious about making an impact on agriculture, science, and teacher education.
“It is important to note, too, that the college also offers associate of science occupational degree in agro food processing as well as agro processing and business management. A robust partnership was formed with the USAID (Agency for International Development) through the council of community colleges of Jamaica that offers fully funded programmes in agro processing. The move to develop and offer agro processing programmes was driven by research, which suggested that more focus must be placed on the value-added subsector,” she added.