Agribusiness Society of UWI – Year in Review

The Agribusiness Society of UWI is a development of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension (DAEE) students, under the Faculty of Food and Agriculture, as an initiative to bridge the gap between students and the field of agriculture.

We seek to enhance the opportunities provided to interested persons in the field of agribusiness and to change perspectives concerning the nature of agriculture as a difficult career choice and emphasize the important role it enshrines in the Caribbean.

We conduct study trips which enable us to tour a selected country to investigate an area of interest in their agricultural sector. The society has visited countries such as St. Vincent, Suriname, Guyana, Jamaica, Grenada and Dominica between 2011 and 2015.

ABS also hosts various field trips ranging from educational trips to relaxing brain coolers. We visit farms, agribusinesses, host seminars and hikes.

EXECUTIVE COUNCIL 2016/2017

PRESIDENT: Ashley Hines

VICE PRESIDENT: Kimberly Cunningham

SECRETARY: Cee Jay Edwards

PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER: Dwane John

PROJECT RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT OFFICER: Ronell Marshall

TREASURER: Brandon Murphy

QUALITY ASSURANCE OFFICER: Shaye Ann Chance


GUILD FEST

At the beginning of the semester, the society set up among other U.W.I clubs to welcome new and continuing students at the JFK quadrangle.

Students and visitors were informed about the society, signed our ABS board, joined the club and even purchased seedlings and chow for the three days we were present.

We even tested their general agricultural awareness with our game that left persons laughing at themselves or amazed by the new knowledge gained.


POETRY COMPETITION

To kick-start our activities for 2016/2017, we hosted a poetry competition for all students. The theme for the poem was “The Importance of Agriculture in my country.” Our winner, Danielle Tannis, was awarded a $100.00 UWI
bookshop certificate.


MARACAS FIELD TRIP

Members set out to Maracas for a day of activities.
The first stop was at the Santa Cruz Green Market where we observed a variety of local value added products and purchased fresh produce as well. The second stop was at a farm at Grand Fond Road, Maracas. Barbadine, bird peppers, papaya, citrus, lettuce and herbs greeted us as we toured the farm. We caught tilapia for fun as well in the farmer’s pond. Students were able to learn about the pros and cons of the farmer’s production
such as;

• his ability to feed himself from the wide variety of produce.

• his proximity to one of his markets, the bake and shark vendors.

• the drawbacks of labour shortages.

The afternoon was spent at Maracas Beach interacting with each other.


WORLD FOOD DAY

In commemoration of World Food Day, FFA student clubs did displays for the theme “Climate is changing, Food and Agriculture must too” at the Sir Frank Stockdale Building.

Our Public Relations Officer Dwane John built a model hydroponics system with a fertilizer and water supply to show to visitors. Our Secretary, Cee Jay Edwards distributed seedlings to encourage visitors to plant more of what
they eat.



U PICK VEGETABLE FARM

The field trip to Upick at Chaguaramas left us with an insight to what is offered by the agribusiness and could have only be described as eye-opening. It showed the value people place on being able to go to the market to pick their own fruits and vegetables.

A cook was also present to prepare meals from the ingredients freshly handpicked from the field.

One highlight was the tractor tour which we enjoyed as we rode along the corn field observing farmers harvest corn. We were informed that monkeys helping themselves to the corn was an indication that it was ready to be picked.


SEMINAR

The society hosted a seminar entitled “The Different Faces of Agriculture” which was geared at highlighting different aspects of agriculture such as media, journalism and youth outreach.

Past society members and leaders, Alpha Sennon of WhyFarm and Keron Bascombe of Tech4Agri were invited to share with students about their businesses.

Alpha engages in youth outreach and promotes Agriculture to children through an agricultural superhero “Agriman”.
Keron is in the business of journalism and media in Agriculture.

Students had their notepads out as they recorded impressionable advice as well as important information shared by the speakers.


Photography by Ronell Marshall, Chadeene Roett, Kimberly Cunningham, and Keron Bascombe

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