Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 23, 2016 (SKNIS):  The Ministry of Education in St. Kitts has welcomed the launch of the Agriculture Business Competency-based Programme to be administered by the local Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC) in collaboration with the Faculty of Agriculture at Dalhousie University in Canada.

The course is geared towards candidates in the agriculture value chain who wish to market and distribute agricultural products and services locally, regionally and internationally. It offers a competency-based education programme, which will allow candidates to develop technical and theoretical skills to develop or grow their business by advancing innovation in products, processes, and business models.

At the programme launch on Tuesday (June 21), Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Ionie Liburd-Willett, extended commendation to Dalhousie University and other partners.

“This programme is of great significance as it is an opportunity to revitalize agriculture by becoming food self sufficient, create agrobusinesses and jobs, [and] change to healthier lifestyles with organic foods,” Mrs. Liburd-Willett said, adding that this translates into a lifestyle revolution of eat what you grow and grow what you eat.

Participants that enter the programme must have good communication skills and experience working within the agricultural industry. The course covers: creating market opportunities, financial management and accounting, delivery of customer service, sales and marketing of agriculture products and services, pricing of products and services, human resource management and business plan development.

“I’m pleased to note that prospective adult students who are already in the agricultural field are afforded the opportunity to access this programme through prior learning assessment and recognition,” the permanent secretary said. “They will not be left behind but will be positioned to make a difference in the development of our economy.”

According to Andrew Abraham, Dean of the Technical, Vocational, Education and Management Studies (TVEMS) of the CFBC, the Agriculture Business Competency-based Programme is “the first of its kind in the Federation and the wider Caribbean Community (CARICOM) region. The programme is described as a “rigorous, skills-based programme and participants will require high levels of motivation to be successful.”

The launch was attended by Hugh Heyliger, Director, Institutional Development, CFBC; Dr. Clare Bowen O’Connor, Programme Coordinator, CFBC; Jackie Ferracho Williams, Vice President of Finance and Administrative Affairs, CFBC; and Suzanne Johnson, Manager of International Projects, Dalhousie University.


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