Dominican, Deles Warrington of Calibishie who has been awarded the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Farmer of the Year for 2021, is optimistic about the future of the sector.
The award which was presented to Warrington on Friday, October 8, aims to highlight the work of farmers around the region who are contributing to the advancement of the agricultural sector in their respective countries.
Warrington says he is honoured to have received the prestigious award and believes that despite the challenges faced in the sector, agriculture is doing well.
“There is evidence that we are making strides to develop the sector even better than how it was before,” Warrington said. “We are not just sitting there and saying agriculture is dying; agriculture is on its move, but we need devoted and dedicated young people who will take up the mantle as I did…”
In addition to the committed involvement of more young people in the sector, Warrington, who has received several awards for his contribution to agriculture in Dominica, has other suggestions for the improvement of Dominica’s agriculture sector.
“One of the things I have seen so far is that we need to put our heads together, work together as one unit and try to engage each other to share technology and to assist each other in developing our agricultural sector in Dominica,” he stated.
Meantime, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit congratulated Warrington for his achievement at that high level and said this should serve as an inspiration for all citizens.
He described the award-winning farmer who hails from the village of Calibishie, as a true example of hard work whose success underscores the critical role of agriculture in strengthening food security.
“For many years he has been a true example of hard work and industry and determination even through the most challenging period in agriculture,” Skerrit stated. “He continues to demonstrate that great potential zest within the sector to boost economic growth, sustain communities and create jobs.”
Echoing Warrington’s call for greater youth involvement in the sector, the prime minister said he hoped that “young people in particular,” would emulate Warrington’s example, “recognizing that farming is a viable career option that can be profitable if taken seriously and if they are willing to work hard.”
He said his government will continue to encourage full participation in the agriculture sector through strategic investment designed to boost production levels, diversify cultivation and increase exports.
“We hope that these interventions will attract more of our citizens to carve a niche for themselves like Mr. Warrington has done, whether it is in livestock production, fishing, the banana and plantain sub-sector or the cultivation of root crops and vegetables or traditional crops such as cassava and bay leaf,” Skerrit stated.
“The opportunities for investment in the sector are endless,” the prime minister declared.