March 20, 2009
Agri-based savings scheme launched

In an attempt to spark young people’s interest in the agriculture industry, the Cooperative Department of the Ministry of National Mobilisation has introduced a Schools’ Cooperative Agri-business initiative, which will link savings with agricultural production.{{more}}

Speaking at the launch, which took place at the Fisheries Conference Room on Tuesday, March 17th, Minister of National Mobilisation Mike Browne relayed how imperative it is for the youth to get involved in agro-based enterprises. St. Vincent and the Grenadines has a long tradition of such, and for it to continue the practice must be passed on to future generations.

Browne lamented that the youth of today shy away from agro-based enterprise because of its laborious nature. However, he was adamant that something must be done to re-attract them. “We need to take the back-breaking aspect out of agriculture.”

Many schools already have plots where students participate in growing fruits and vegetables. The new initiative complements that activity and will no doubt inculcate a sense of enterprise whilst teaching young people to save money.

With 14 schools across the island already signed up to the initiative, Browne implored teachers to get involved, whether it is on the agricultural or administrative front.

Browne further encouraged all shareholders to work as a team so that the venture is successful.

Registrar of Cooperatives (Ag) Cecil Jackson expressed how pleased he was with the initiative and was confident that it has the potential to facilitate national development. “This is only the beginning. We are on the path to tremendous success!”

Representatives from the various cooperative credit unions also gave brief remarks. They were Judith Seaman, Kingstown Cooperative Credit Union; Vedette Bulze, Barrouallie Cooperative Credit Union, and Lennox Bowman, General Employees Cooperative Credit Union. Ministry of Agriculture Representative Desiree Lewis also briefly addressed the audience. (JSV)