Minister announces $2-million prize for 4-H champions
Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Karl Samuda, has announced that the 2016 Jamaica 4-H Clubs' Boy and Girl of the Year will each receive $1 million as part of their prize.
He said the award was intended to serve as an incentive for more young people to pursue careers in the agricultural sector, including establishing their own businesses, and developing innovative solutions to the challenges in the sector.
He said the $2 million was an initial contribution, noting that "as we are able to get more funds, we will increase that and extend it to other areas of the 4-H movement that are doing a good job."
Montego Bay High School student, Shevone Smith, won the Girl of the Year title for a recycling project implemented at her school and at a nearby early childhood institution. She said she would be using the funds to further her education.
Port Antonio High student, Patrick Morris, who is the Boy of the Year, said he won the coveted crown by implementing an organic pesticide project, a seedling project, and a garbage management plan to help his school. He also intends to use the prize money to further his education in agriculture.
Executive Director of the 4-H Clubs, Dr Ronald Blake, in welcoming the announcement by the minister, said the funds would serve as a motivation for "all youngsters, who are looking towards agriculture."
He commended the innovations by the students that were showcased at the expo.
The mission of the of the Jamaica 4-H movement is to mobilise, educate and train young people between the ages of five and 25 years in agriculture, homemaking, leadership and social skills in order to prepare them for careers in agriculture and agro-related areas.
The movement seeks to provide a cadre of trained young leaders, capable of contributing to national development.