Today, the Agribusiness Society of the University of the West Indies (ABS) stands out and is worthy of emulation.
When I met the current President of ABS, Alpha Sennon, a few months ago, I was impressed by his love and passion for agriculture. He stood out to me because we were expressing the same desires for the sector and the need for youth involvement. What shocked me even more, was the fact that not only are we from the same country, but we attend the same university and same campus. So I asked myself, what were the odds that there existed young persons like myself, like Alpha, who share the passion for agriculture and yearn to see its development a mere five minutes walk away?
Later that evening, I set out in search of Agrifootsoldiers. Youths, who were driven, intelligent, diligent, honest, motivated and beaming with enthusiasm, and I stumbled across the Agribusiness Society. The joy that I felt in my heart, cannot be expressed in words when I met the members of this group.
The Agribusiness Society of the UWI, was founded by the students and operates for the development of its members. It has worked assiduously in building a name for itself and has partnered with some of the most respected entities within the agricultural sector. The annual study tour, has allowed students to avail themselves to hands-on training within their field of study. In years gone by, the study tour has been held in Grenada, St. Vincent, Jamaica, Suriname and Guyana which allows for regional integration and networking.
This year, ABS, proposes to take the study tour to the islands of Dominica and St. Lucia, as they seek to analyse the "Success and Failures of Agricultural Diversification Strategies"- theme of the study tour- as it relates to the removal of preferential treatment. It is crucial that as agriculturalists, we pay particular attention to the events of home and in the region.
With 2014 being announced as the International year of Family Farming, I note the relevance of this study. Not only do we need to view it from an economic standpoint, but to ascertain how farm families are coping with this major move and the advent of the EU/CARIFORUM Agreement.
I give a standing ovation to the Executive of the Agribusiness Society of the UWI and its members, both present and former, for making the ABS the standout organization it has become. I wish continued success in all their endeavours, trusting that the ABS will continue growing from strength to strength.
Feeling proud, as I have me some Mint tea.