NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (August 13, 2014) — Minister of Agriculture in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) Hon. Alexis Jeffers, reminded two Nevisians who were awarded 4-year scholarships to pursue studies for Bachelor of Science Degrees in General Agriculture, that the opportunity would put them in a good position to continue the develop of agriculture on Nevis. They will study at Earth University in Costa Rica.
The Minister’s advice came as he lauded the scholarship recipients Devene Smithen and Prince Arrindell when they visited his Charlestown office on August 11, 2014. Both Smithen and Arrindell recently completed an Associate Degree in General Agriculture, at the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College in St Kitts and are expected to leave for Costa Rica on August 17th.
“Once you have gone to Costa Rica and done your studies in Agricultural Science and Natural Resource Management, you will come back to Nevis to make your contribution to the development of the island of Nevis.
“Agriculture is one of those pillars that we are going to rely on over the next umpteen amount of years to come, in that, we have to continue to ensure that we have safe ways of production and productive ways of producing food here on the island of Nevis. You are going to be the face of that because you are both young and most of our older farmers are moving on. So you would have to pick up from where they would have left off, at some point in the future,” he said.
Notwithstanding, Minister Jeffers told them they should be mindful that the road ahead of them would not be an easy one, however, their youthfulness was in their favour.
“I want to say to you, it is a tough road, I am sure, to get to Costa Rica and back but with your youth and the vibrancy that you possess, I do believe, that you will come back to make the necessary contribution that you want to make here on the island of Nevis.
“So agriculture is indeed alive and well in both of you and I do believe, with that spirit and the commitment that you are going to make with your studies in Costa Rica, we will all be the benefactors and beneficiaries of all of your efforts,” he said.
The Agriculture Minister also used the opportunity to urge the students to be ambassadors for Nevis.
“I want to implore upon you, to be ambassadors for Nevis. You are the first who are leaving here to go to Costa Rica, so you would be paving the way for all those who are going to come here after. I want to thank Earth University as well for partnering with that special donor and also the Ministry and Department of Agriculture to make this possible.
“Earth University is now on the map here in Nevis and I am sure, moving forward, many more students are going to take this opportunity and go down to Costa Rica to further their studies and continue the trend that we are trying to establish here in agriculture. We are trying to make agriculture bigger and better and take it to heights never seen before and that will be done with your help, I am sure,” he said.
Smithen and Arrindell are the first of seven persons who will be selected to pursue studies at Earth University, thanks to an anonymous donor and they expressed gratitude for the opportunity they were given to study at Earth University.
Meantime, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Eric Evelyn who was also present, welcomed the study opportunities in the area of agriculture and stated that education was always high on the Ministry’s agenda.