Monday 12th September 2011, Secretariatof the Pacific Community (SPC) Suva, Fiji
One way to arouse an interest in agriculture and forestry among youths is to engage and support them in these activities from an early age. SPC’s Land Resources Division (LRD) has been putting a lot of effort into this recently.
Farming equipment — including forks, hoes, spades, knives and garden rakes worth a little over FJD 300 — was presented to a Suva based Tacirua Bhartiya School for drawing the winning ticket in a lottery organised by the LRD during the recent Fiji Agriculture Show. More than 8000 students from 153 schools visited the SPC booth during the four-day show, and the name of each school was entered in the lottery.
Sairusi Bulai, Officer-in-Charge of LRD, presented the prize. ‘Encouraging youths into agricultural activity has been a challenge worldwide and the Pacific Islands are no exception. Starting this at primary school will help to create awareness in our youths,’ he said.
According to statistics provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization, the global demand for food will increase by 70% over the next 40 years so, worldwide, we need youths to get involved in this sector to help meet the demand.
SPC has been steadfast in encouraging youths into agricultural activity, inspired and guided by the Pacific Youth in Agriculture Strategy.
Head teacher Surend Mudaliar thanked SPC/LRD: ‘These tools will surely assist us in improving our school garden, which will encourage our students to eat healthy food and know the value of growing their own food.
‘We are one of the few schools that allowed all our students to attend the Fiji Agriculture Show because we believe in encouraging agriculture amongst youths,’ he added.
SPC will continue to take every opportunity to encourage youths to take up a career in farming. It recently organised essay and poster competitions for school children and results will be announced later this month.
(For further information please contact Vinesh Prasad on telephone (679)3370733 or email LRD Help Desk on email