School of Agriculture tasked to develop distance learning for next academic year
The Guyana School of Agriculture (GSA) has been tasked by the Minister of Agriculture, Robert Persaud, to attract the attendance of students from hinterland communities in an effort to build human resources capacity in that district.
Minister Persaud stated that for the next academic year (2012), GSA must develop a distance learning programme, particularly for the benefit of those living in hinterland communities.
He explained that if someone is living in Region Nine and has access to the internet, he or she could benefit from training in Agriculture. This, he stressed, would bridge the divide.
He made those remarks Thursday last, at the institution’s 47th Graduation Ceremony which was held at its Mon Repos campus, where only three Region Nine residents graduated out of 124 students.
Most residents in hinterland communities are heavily dependent on small scale farming. However, large scale agricultural production is being developed. For instance, in Region One, there is the National Hinterland Secure Livelihood Programme; and the rice and bean project in Region Nine.
According to Minister Persaud, the hinterland region would be the next area of Agriculture expansion as the soil is conducive to farming. He added that the soil is favourable to planting some crops such as onions and potatoes which are not cultivated locally.
He noted that there are 160 Amerindian communities that are to be transformed but this cannot happen when Coastlanders have to be dispatched to those communities to develop Agriculture.
Minister Persaud emphasized that in today’s global market, other than oil, the next commodity which garners constant price increase is food. However, the global issue is that not enough youths are involved in farming.
It was revealed that Government recently signed three Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) for three large scale agriculture projects. He noted that the proposals are being reviewed.