During a visit to the institution on February 16, the Minister added that it would be useful for primary schools in the parishes of Hanover, St. James and Westmoreland to have their students visit Knockalva as part of a work experience and where they can realise at an early age the value of agriculture to the economy.
“The idea is for them to go back and make others understand that agriculture is the key to driving the economy of this country,” Mr. Hutchinson emphasised.
“We are also looking at (starting) school gardens in all the primary schools, where students can learn at an early age that agriculture is an important sector in our society. We are also looking at the gardens to provide the produce for the breakfast programmes,” he added.
The Minister said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day for students, as it gives them a proper start to the day and also enhances their ability to learn.
Mr. Hutchinson said the Ministry is looking at providing the primary schools with industrial blenders, where the ‘bag juice’ can be substituted with fruit juice.
“The schools will be able to make the juice and provide for the students. We have a lot of excess fruits and vegetables all around Jamaica that get spoilt every year. We also have what we call an incubator at a number of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) offices, where anyone can go and do the processing of fruits. These fruits now will be made into juice and be a part of the breakfast programme,” he said.
Mr. Hutchinson said the Ministry is also looking to collaborate with the Dairy Board to overhaul the entire agricultural sector at Knockalva, giving the school the ability to provide milk and eggs to primary schools in western Jamaica.
- Countries: Jamaica