Austrie wants agriculture to be a ‘full-blooded’ subject in schools

Pre Hurricane Maria agricultural produce

Saying the farming population is disappearing, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture Reginald Austrie has said a number of changes have to be made in agriculture in order to keep the sector alive.

According to him to ensure its continuity agriculture should begin at the school level.

“We have to expand the school agriculture and I have already discussed it with the Permanent Secretary that we have to talk to the Minister of Education and to make agriculture a full-blooded subject from grade K,” Austrie said. “We have many young people in agriculture, but I do not believe that they are getting the advice.”

Austrie believes that there also has to be a greater focus on youth in agriculture.

“People in agriculture who are below 35-40 years, we have to give them the incentive, we have to give them the drive, we have to give them the encouragement because these are the farmers of tomorrow,” he stated. “And they will give you the next 20, 25, 30 years that we require if we have to make a success in agriculture, so we have to pay some attention to that and we have to give that some focus.”

He went on to say that the farming population is aging and disappearing.

“I am worried if things go as is, what’s going to happen to our farming population in the next 10 years? Because the average age I understand is between 60, 65 and 70…” he said.

He warns that people should stop the notion that agriculture is for poor people who did not go to school or who cannot read and write.

Furthermore, Austrie noted that women involved in agriculture should also be recognized.

“Our women in agriculture, how many of us recognize the hard work, how many of us see the vendors on the market and how much regard that we give to them, how much do we appreciate the fact that they are the ones that are actually feeding the nation?” he asked.

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  1. Annon
    May 8, 2018

    So…he’d didn’t know it was that dead. Hmm

  2. St. Joe
    May 6, 2018

    Shouldn’t you as the Minister of Agriculture come out and tell us what your plans are and how you are going to reintroduce agriculture as a main subject in our schools again? So these are really the people we have running our affairs in Da? I pray for an eye opening moment when Dominicans will see that with guys like these Dominica will not be developed.
    It is time to vote them out.

  3. Annon
    May 6, 2018

    Nice, same for music that we’ve been telling you all along, but you all don’t listen. Same with the previous administration 20 years ago. Today we only get lip service like “I will take over the ‘music industry’ for a year”; without seriously defining all aspects to understand it. The result: throwing money at it to be grabbed by whoever the takers happened to be. Never worked. Teach the Man to fish! Start at school level.

  4. Just a Thought
    May 6, 2018

    I cannot believe the content of this article. Did the minister really give this speech? I have never seen so many instances of broken English, broken sentences, poor sentence structure and just words which do not make sense. Is it a question? What are you trying to say? “We have to expand the school agriculture and I have already discussed it with the Permanent Secretary that we have to talk to the Minister of Education and to make agriculture a full-blooded subject from grade K,” Austrie said. “We have many young people in agriculture, but I do not believe that they are getting the advice.” What school agriculture are you expanding? Is there school agriculture? What is a full-blooded subject? What advice?

    With this said, agriculture and agricultural science used to be part of our curriculum. I am not sure who masterminded its withdrawal. Going into agriculture is one thing. Finding markets for sale of produce would be a priority. We hope that when we invest we can sell!!

  5. Concerned Citizen
    May 6, 2018

    Dear All,

    The state of Agriculture in D/ca today is a REFLECTION of how POORLY the right Honourable, Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit, our Prime Minister and his Administration have ran our beloved country.

    Hon. Minister, Reginald Austrie should be ashamed of himself and apologise to the country at the poor state of Agriculture. He should actually admit and declare that as the longest serving Parliamentary Representative in Parliament and a Senoir Minister in the government for over fourteen (14) years that he is resigning from the government and WILL support a new administration running the country to SAVE it from OBLIVION.

    The Labour Party Government under the leadership of the Right Honourable Dr. Roosvelt Skeritt, for the past fourteeen (14) years has MISERABLY FAILED the country and the PEOPLE of Domninica. Its pursuit of reshaping the ECONOMY via a SERVICE ECONOMY has been an ABJECT FAILURE. This was done at the expense of AGRICULTURE.

  6. mike maya
    May 5, 2018

    This government must have a vissionary master plan that we haven’t figured out yet because it is impossible for a government to be so inept, i truly believe we are led by bumbling idiots who have no idea no plan just winging it as they go. The joke is really on dominicans to accept that for 18yrs maybe we are just too drunk to care, or have accepted the begging and free stuff culture but in the end in a failed state the leaders alway land on ther feet rich and the masses always pay, ask any Venezuelan.

  7. anonymous2
    May 4, 2018

    So, make it happen Austrie. Dominica is an agriculture based island and that is all it will ever be……..if there are farmers. Many want to make it something that it is not. The land should be treated as sacred. Only when the island is referred to as “organic” will the wealth pour in.

  8. Yes I
    May 4, 2018

    Lol. Austrie you just wake up and smelling the coffee? Smh

  9. JBaptiste
    May 4, 2018

    So when johno had that portfolio,it was independent of the government and cabinet? You mean Austrie didn’t know these details?

  10. May 4, 2018

    Chupes, after 18 years of doing the opposit,
    by saying agriculture is a has been industry, agriculture is on the backburner and gassing and shooting the people of Salisbury who stood up for their farm road
    Austrie dem must be feeling the wind of change

  11. Roger Burnett
    May 4, 2018

    The young lady that cashes me out at the supermarket has a degree in agriculture, but no job in agriculture. She has no land of her own.

  12. jungle
    May 4, 2018

    When a bull defecates, what comes out? THIS!

    May 4, 2018

    Pure hypocrisy ,Agriculture has always been taught at schools. After 18 years you now see it fitting to give incentives etc ,the farming population is not aging or disappearing, it is Dead. You are worried about the farming population in the next 10 years? Where did you get that notion from? back in the days farmers were making more money than any other profession .Get that record straight.

  14. Ibo France
    May 4, 2018

    Mr. Austria, did you just wake up yesterday and had an epiphany? After 6 570 consecutive days of governing the country you have come to the realization that your administration’s policies have gutted the agriculture sector like all other sectors of the economy (manufacturing, banking, tourism)etc. If there were visionary leadership agriculture would have been booming in the nature isle. The sorry state of agriculture is due to lack of serious commitment and no foresight. Where leadership is wanting everything else is wanting.

  15. May 4, 2018

    What happened to Agricultural Science which was taught by Edison James at the Academy back in the 70s?

    • Jheri
      May 5, 2018

      They belittled farmers like Vanoulst and pushed them aside…. now they want to talk about Agriculture.

  16. Ki - ZERBO
    May 4, 2018

    Don’t make me laugh, Sir! Do you realize that in your statement you have just indicted your own government which has been in power for the last 18 years? Were you not part of the government that said that the emphasis should be placed on the selling of passports, and that if not the CBI, then what?? Have you forgotten or are you just playing smart with stupidity? Also remember sir, that PM Skerrit told the leader of the opposition that if he can’t pay Mr. Pinard-Byrne, then he (Lennox Linton) would have to work on his farm? So why the double talk now? We all know, sir, that “misery loves company”.


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