Minister Richards was addressing students and teachers during a hand-over ceremony of agriculture tools and equipment to several schools. The donation was spearheaded by the St. Kitts and Nevis Youth Forum in collaboration with IICA, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture, as well as significant sponsoring support coming from the Christophe Harbour Foundation.
Under the project, seven primary schools have been outfitted with garden tools – Saddler’s, Sandy Point, Cayon, Joshua Obadiah William, Newton Ground, Beach-Allen and Deane Glasford Primary Schools. The St. Paul’s Primary School received a pre-fab green house. In addition, the Saddler’s High School and the Cayon High School each received shade housed, about 10 feet by 12 feet. Shade houses have already been delivered to Gingerland and Charlestown Secondary Schools on Nevis, as well as to the Charles E Mills Secondary School and the Verchild’s High School on St. Kitts.
Richards advised the young students saying, “It is the goal of the Ministry of Education to have students graduating with the means to become skilled and entrepreneurs. What you will learn from working with this shade house technology can position all of you students to own businesses and make names for yourselves in the field. You will be contributing positively to development of yourselves and the economy.”
He explained that Government is pursuing strategies that will improve the technical skills of youth, as well as vocational, entrepreneurial and life skills, and improved youth access to credit
As a consequence, he advised students to “Learn all that you can and emulate those who have returned 100% passes in Agriculture Science”.
Richards took the opportunity to commend the SKNYF and its associates. He said, “SKNAYF and its sponsors must be applauded for having taken these direct steps to develop our people and our Nation. They must be encouraged to continue. Do not get weary in well doing. I pledge my government’s commitment to the task at hand. The Ministry of Education has a great role to play in nation building but NGOs and other partners too, have a special role to play.”
The SKNYF is attempting to encourage young people to become involve in agriculture and to participate in policy formulation with relevant ministries of government.
The September 22 handover event took place at the Saddler’s High School.