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SLREP to the Rescue for Students of the Roseau Combined

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Contact: John Emmanuel

Students of the Roseau Combined School

Students of the Roseau Combined School

Friday, June 06, 2003 - An initiative on the part of officials of the Roseau Combined School to help improve the overall learning abilities of the hundreds of students enrolled in the institution is about to bear fruit, literally. On Wednesday, June 4, 2003 an appeal for assistance in helping to farm a sizable portion of agricultural lands vested in the school was acceded to, when the St. Lucia Rural Enterprise Project (SLREP) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries handed over a significant quantity of agri-tools and chemicals to the school officials.

Director of Agricultural Services Joan Norville explained that the initiative coincided with efforts on the part of the Ministry at fostering a culture of agriculture within schools. Said Norville, “from the time when we were small we always knew that agriculture was necessary for food security, it is necessary for the development of our social being and the like. It is also important for health and income generation. However, we have found that most people are leaving agriculture for what they think are more productive enterprises. The point is that we have a problem with the stigma attached to agriculture.” The agricultural services director noted that based on that the Ministry has begun targeting the youth, “as we believe that if we start from the young people, this would help us in the future to sustain agricultural development in St. Lucia.”

Joan Norville handing over agricultural products to Roseau Combined  Principal - Sylvester Phillip

Joan Norville - Director of Agricultural Services handing over agricultural products to the Principal of the Roseau Combined School Sylvester Phillip

The over three thousand dollars worth of supplies will help the school modernize its farming practices and places it among close to a dozen other educational institutions receiving assistance from the SLREP. “Some of the other schools we have engaged in similar ventures to this one have gotten involve in the production of rabbits as a small business,” exclaimed David Demacque – Programme Manager of the SLREP. According to the veteran agriculturalist, “the way this programme of assistance is conducted is that we encourage the schools to operate and manage the initiatives as a business proposition. I’m therefore pleased to hear that this is your intended goal, to develop this initiative so that you can in fact learn that there is indeed a lucrative business to be derived from this venture in relation to agricultural production on the island.”

Principal of the Roseau Combined School Sylvester Phillips said the supplies will greatly assist the school at enhancing its agricultural and school-feeding programmes, while at the same time help in reducing irregularity and boost students overall performance.

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