Agricultural science teachers start new school year armed with knowledge and support from successful farmers

As schools open today, September 4, agricultural science teachers
will return to the classrooms with a vision to educate students on all
aspects of farming – and not only production.
This is because they took part in a two-day educators empowerment
workshop for primary and secondary school agricultural science
teachers, under the theme “Growing Greatness,” on August 29 and

The event was hosted by newly appointed Agricultural Science
Education Officer Nicolette Francis and was held at the John E. St.
Luce Finance and Conference Centre. 
Reports say the teachers were able to table past challenges in
managing their respective school farms, and were given the
opportunity to share ideas to support both the students and the
overall development of the Agricultural Science Department.
Neil Gomes, proprietor of Anointed Farms, spoke to the teachers on
the characteristics of upcoming farmers and how, as teachers, they
can help to mould the perspectives of farming through more
practical learning.
Gomes noted that farming can be a very lucrative business, and this
was supported by another farmer, Adolph Audain. Audain spoke of
the economic viability of the agriculture sector and how to run a
farm as a business.
He said this information could assist the teachers in better managing
the operation of school farms in spite of limited resources. 
Meanwhile, Craig Thomas, the Inter-American Institute for
Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) national specialist, also addressed
the teachers. He spoke of the implementation of internships with
agriculture-focused businesses in order to encourage secondary
Thomas encouraged the teachers to utilize the expertise of local
entrepreneurs and technicians within the sector, since they could
persuade students to look at agriculture as a viable area of interest.

He also highlighted the many training and external funding
opportunities available to Antigua and Barbuda that could also be
beneficial to the schools. 
According to Francis, “The Agricultural Science Department
continues to motivate teachers to impart quality curriculum content
to students by developing knowledge and understanding of the
importance of agriculture in Antigua and Barbuda.”
She hopes to grow the programme and the sector through
collaboration, since the agricultural science teachers are responsible
for moulding the next generation of farmers to contribute to food
security and food safety here.