An Open Day showcasing novel agricultural technologies of the Food and Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (FAREI) Wooton Crop Research Station was launched today at the Farmers Training School in Wooton. The Acting Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security and Minister of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives, Mr Soomilduth Bholah, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Stephan Toussaint, and other eminent personalities were present.
In his address, Minister Bholah underpinned Government's commitment to promote the agricultural sector for the well-being of planters and the population. Several measures, he highlighted, are geared towards safeguarding the environment and providing assistance to farmers to increase crop productivity.
On this score, he elaborated on the forthcoming Use of Pesticides Bill which has as object to monitor the importation and use of pesticides in or on certain fresh fruits, plants, seeds and vegetables with a view to minimising risks to human health. The setting up of the national wholesale vegetable market which will help to improve the handling of fruits and vegetables, both post-harvest and for onward sales was also highlighted by Mr Bholah.
He encouraged all farmers to continuously adapt to new agricultural methods with a view to ensuring food and nutritional security in the face of climatic changes. He also urged entrepreneurs to make use of local fruits for more value added products which will help increase their competitiveness on the market.
For his part, Minister Toussaint pointed out that more youth should be encouraged to cultivate land and should seize opportunities in the agricultural sector. He expressed satisfaction with regard to the mini sheltered farming project, which he emphasised, will promote food safety at household level through micro gardening, vertical and roof top gardening under net house structures. To this end, the Minister appealed to each and everyone to grow food crops at household level for self consumption.
FAREI Wooton Crop Research Station
The FAREI Wooton Crop Research Station has as objectives to provide facilities for the implementation of research activities on crop production, agro-processing, ornamentals and fruits; offer training to entrepreneurs in food processing and; provide assistance to growers at the Farmer's Training School.
It also makes provision of the following facilities: Food Processing Unit; Agro processing Resource Centre; Farmer's Training School; Molecular and Biotechnology Research Facility; Seed Testing Research Facility; Post Harvest Facility; and Soil/Water Management Research Facility.