Tue | May 17, 2022

Charles Jr encourages youth involvement in agriculture

Published:Monday | January 24, 2022 | 12:07 AM
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Pearnel Charles Jr. (left) and minister of state in the ministry, Franklin Witter, with first-place winners in the Praedial Larceny Essay and Jingle Competition: Dermanique Lee of Chetwood Memorial Primary School in St
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Pearnel Charles Jr. (left) and minister of state in the ministry, Franklin Witter, with first-place winners in the Praedial Larceny Essay and Jingle Competition: Dermanique Lee of Chetwood Memorial Primary School in St James and Kriston Ferguson of Norman Gardens Primary School in Kingston. The virtual awards ceremony was held on January 21.

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Pearnel Charles Jr. says it is important to engage the youth and encourage their involvement in developing solutions to the challenges faced by the agricultural sector.

“What we are doing today in getting our youngsters to use their mind in understanding the impact of this and to start to find solutions, are critical to our human health, our food security and national development,” Charles Jr. said.

He was speaking at the Praedial Larceny Prevention Unit’s essay and jingle competition awards ceremony held virtually on January 21.

The objective of the competition is to engender greater awareness of the devastating impact of praedial larceny on rural communities, public health and the Jamaican economy.

For the 2021 installment, a total of 31 students from 18 schools participated in the competition.

The initiative is geared towards young Jamaicans aged nine to 18 and comprises two categories: an essay competition and a jingle competition. The top six contestants were awarded at the ceremony.

For the essay competition, students were challenged to write on the topic: ‘Praedial larceny affects us all. How can consumers/the general public help to stop the continued theft of agricultural produce?’

In this category, Dermanique Lee of Chetwood Memorial Primary School in St James, placed first; Garcel James of Osbourne Store Primary and Junior High School, Clarendon, placed second; and Jordan Dallas, from Jacks River Primary School in St Mary, placed third.

The jingle competition challenged participants to compose a lyrical piece to include the phrases, ‘Praedial larceny is everybody’s business’ and ‘Don’t support it. Report it’.

In this category, first place was awarded to Kriston Ferguson of Norman Gardens Primary School, Kingston; Kahalia Savage from Mona High School in St Andrew placed second; and Rihanna Simpson of Papine High School, St Andrew, placed third.

First place winners received $10,000 in cash, a Kingston Bookshop gift certificate valued at $15,000, a Samsung tablet, backyard garden kit and a plaque.

Persons in second place received $7,500 in cash, a Kingston Bookshop gift certificate valued at $10,000, a backyard garden kit and a plaque; and persons in third place received $5,000 in cash and a Kingston Book Shop gift certificate of the same value, a backyard garden kit, and a plaque.

Since the competition’s inception in 2016, there have been over 100 participants.