Carl Gilchrist, Gleaner Writer
OCHO RIOS, St Ann:
IN A move that seems destined to positively impact agriculture production in Jamaica especially among the youth, Noranda Jamaica Bauxite Partners (NJBP) has introduced a school greenhouse competition involving five schools in St Ann.
The schools involved are York Castle, Brown's Town and Aabuthnott-Gallimore High, along with Aboukir Institute and St Christopher's School for the Deaf.
In launching the competition, NJBP said it was being done in its drive to expand greenhouse technology across its operating area as a sustainable means of improved agriculture production.
The initial competition is being done over a six-week period and will see the participants involved in the planting of broccoli. They will be judged in the areas of staff involvement, student involvement, knowledge of crop, knowledge of greenhouse technology, innovative techniques, yield, quality of produce, greenhouse practices and record keeping.
Three areas in particular, the knowledge of crop, knowledge of greenhouse technology and innovative techniques, should be of special interest to participating teams as knowledge of them is expected to boost teams' chances in the competition.
The schools are required to prepare and submit a project book on the topics mentioned above for the period of the competition.
The students will also be required to answer, orally, questions based on their knowledge of activities carried out on the farm. At least two will be required to answer oral questions on behalf of their groups on a final assessment.
The competition is expected to pique the interest of students at the institutions involved, especially for a school like Brown's Town, which has been involved in the greenhouse technology for a number of years.
The school's principal, Johnallson Feraria, along with his counterparts from the other schools, were on hand and expressed, support and appreciation for the support of the bauxite company in staging the competition.
Noranda's president, Pansy Johnson, who addressed the launch, congratulated the school on taking up the challenge and urged the participants to give of their best.
The competition also attracted the attention of Education Minister Ronald Thwaites and president of the Jamaica Greenhouse Growers Association, Jervis Rowe, who were both in attendance.