Friday, 16 August 2013

Time to take the drudgery out of Agriculture

WITH agriculture facing many challenges at this present time, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management (MAFFW) decided that it was time to place much more emphasis on this sector.

To that end, they have launched an inaugural Agricultural Science, Technology and Innovation Competition. Under the theme, ‘Improving Lives Through Innovation in Agricultural Science and Technology’, Deputy Chief Agricultural Officer, Charleston Lucas, has challenged Barbadians to ‘take the drudgery out of Agriculture’.

“The Ministry, this year, thought that we needed to place an emphasis in agriculture, in terms of looking at ways and means in which we could have a greater thrust forward,” he noted.

Speaking at the 2nd Workshop for the National Council for Science and Technology (NCST), held at the Ivan Harewood Centre, Christ Church, he explained that there was a strong link between food, health and productivity.

Explaining that for this competition, they were looking mainly for innovative ideas, he stressed that such ideas also needed to be commercial and easily implemented.

“So we thought that we would have a competition where we zoned in on agriculture and what we are asking is for a new idea, a creative idea, something useful,” he noted.

Continuing, he stated, “We are talking about innovation, that just means there is knowledge out there, ideas and some little things being done and what we want persons to do is just to harness them together. Use this knowledge and create something that is useful to agriculture, take some of the drudgery out of agriculture. Enable us to increase efficiency in probably somewhere in farming, marketing or the production side.”

Stating that it was important that the idea could be implemented almost right away, or at least ‘very soon’, he explained that it also needed to increase productivity, which would have a great positive impact on being competitive, which should result in larger quantities being sold.

To those interested, he noted that the deadline for a two-page synopsis of the idea was by October 13, 2013 and that they would be assessed in the following ways: Innovativeness will be 50 per cent, Market Potential and Usefulness will be afforded 30 per cent and the Implementation Process will be 20 per cent.
Original Article Here

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