Chairman for the Agricultural Advisory Committee, Mr William Georges has said that the committee has been working feverishly in the discharge of the mandate by the Government of the Virgin Islands.
Mr Georges said, “The committee welcomes the opportunity to serve the Government, HLSCC, and the wider community, especially the farming community by advising and assisting the college in offering a programme of initial training in agriculture for interested persons.”
He further added, “The programme being developed will not only widen the scope of the college’s offerings to students but will also increase training available to agricultural producers.”
The proposed training, which will be conducted on the College’s campus in Paraquita Bay, will consist of classroom instructions and field demonstrations including hands-on training.
The training will provide participants with the theoretical background in modern agricultural practices, as well as practical training in the farm environment, taking into account the responsibility for preserving the environment.
Participants will be required to successfully complete a minimum of three courses, consisting of two in Crops and Animal Production and one in Farming Business to complete the training.
Participants may enrol in at least one course at a time, choosing the time and sequence of courses at their convenience. Participants will be assessed in each course and will be certified on successful completion of the programme requirements.
Certified persons may enrol for up to three additional courses offered to obtain further training. Certified persons will also be designated by the Department of Agriculture as ‘Certified Farmers’ and may receive the benefits and privileges from the Department, as may be determined from time to time.
Vice President of Academic Affairs at HLSCC, Dr Arlene L. Smith-Thompson expressed that as the programme is developed, depending on particular response and interest, additional courses at a higher level with greater academic rigour may be included. In this case, she added, certified participants will have opportunities to advance their training.
The programme, which is expected to roll out in November 2021, will explore financial assistance opportunities that can be available to students.