The landscape of agriculture is changing as it is now one that is perceived as embracing new technologies. With this comes the interest of the youth population in the sector. One such young person is Derron Shepherd who participated in a three-day workshop hosted by CARDI and UWI. Encouraged to attend the training course by a friend, Garette says that what he has learnt he will ‘put into practice in the fields as soon as next week.’ He says ‘protected agriculture is a good investment opportunity’.
The Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) partnered with the University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus to host a Training Workshop, “Basics of Protected Agriculture – Improving food and nutrition security through enhanced technologies” from June 11th to 13th, 2013 at the Frank Stockdale Building, UWI Campus. The Workshop sought to expose participants to the basic principles and practices of the protected agriculture technology through lectures and practical demonstrations. This is in keeping with CARDI’s ongoing efforts to assist with the development of the protected agriculture industry in Trinidad and Tobago.
An amateur farming couple who has taken the challenge head-on to enter the field of protected agriculture, Mr. Clive Brown and his wife Julie are embracing this new opportunity to increase their productive yield. Mrs. Brown said that the training course showed her ‘how to improve on her field activities.’ She was able to create the link between her practical field experience and the technical aspects of greenhouse farming. Answering the question ‘what about protected agriculture interests you?’, Mr. Brown said ‘it is about the technology that is it; I like the challenge that it poses’.
Some thirty (30) participants gained insights on five modules over the three-day period from ten (10) industry experts, including:
Dr. Gauis Eudoxie, Soil Scientist, Department of Food Production, UWI
Dr. Adesh Ramsubhag, Microbiologist, Department of Life Sciences, UWI
Professor Neela Badrie, Food Safety Specialist, Department of Food Production, UWI
Dr. Majeed Mohammed, Post Harvest Specialist, Department of Food Production, UWI
Ms. Adanna Piggott, Scientist 1, CARDI Protected Agriculture Technician and Crop Production Specialist
Mr. Alexander Benn, Agronomist, CARDI CFC Consultant
Mr. Aziz Mohammed, Marketing Specialist, CARDI CFC Consultant
Mr. Jervis Rowe, Protected Agriculture Specialist, CARDI CFC Consultant
Mr. Antonio DeGannes, Protected Agriculture Specialist, CARDI CFC Consultant
Mr. Simon Bedasie, Agronomist, CARDI CFC Consultant
Participants included producers, members of the Trinidad and Tobago Greenhouse Growers Association, representatives from the Ministry of Food Production, University of Trinidad and Tobago, Inputs Suppliers and Private Investors.
Sessions were interactive and for each session knowledge assessments were conducted to determine the change in knowledge and skill of participants.
The five modules were covered over the period, including
Module I: Getting started in the protected agriculture business
Module II: Establishment and maintenance of protected agriculture structures
Module III: Crop establishment
Module IV: General crop production and management
Module V: Quality Assurance
All participants were presented with a Certificate of Participation upon conclusion of the three-day workshop.
Funding partners for the Workshop included the Common Fund for Commodities, European Union, the International Development Research Centre, Canadian International Development Agency.
Contact: CARDI’s Office|868|645|1205