By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, June 25, 2022 – These days anything can be online, even a plant clinic! The Turks and Caicos Islands Department of Agriculture wants to help budding and experienced farmers with any plant issues they may have and their new Online Plant Clinic is their solution to help as many Islanders as possible.
Launched on Thursday, June 16 the clinic will operate through Facebook. Individuals with sick plants or pest issues will be required to take a photo of the issue and upload that photo to the department of Agriculture’s Facebook page.
Answers to issues will be given once a month, on every third Thursday, via a public video so all Islanders can have access. The launch was attended by Chief Plant Protection Officer-CPPO Roneta Huntley Thomas, Director of Agriculture Wilhelmina Kissoonsingh, Minister of Agriculture Josephine Connolly, and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture Mrs. Cheryl Ann Jones.
Connolly urged residents to “grow your own food and grow TCI.”
Attendees of the launch were allowed to participate in games trying to identify different diseases for a chance at prizes. Residents can now immediately start sending in their photos on the Facebook page.
JAMAICA: Agriculture Ministry to Engage Teachers on ‘Grow Smart, Eat Smart’ Campaign
#Kingston, November 29, 2022 – The Agriculture and Fisheries Ministry will be engaging Agricultural Science and Food and Nutrition teachers on the national ‘Grow Smart, Eat Smart’ campaign.
He said the collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Youth is to “start the conversation” on how teachers can influence students on how to ‘Grow Smart, Eat Smart’.
As such, a conference, dubbed ‘A Conversation with the Minister’, is being hosted by the Jamaica 4-H Clubs and will take place at the Shortwood Teachers’ College in Kingston, on November 29.
Minister Charles will use the medium to outline to educators the purpose and intended outcomes of the ‘Grow Smart, Eat Smart’ campaign, and how they can play a role by becoming ambassadors of the national movement.
An advisory from the Jamaica 4-H Clubs indicates that the teachers are being mobilised through the Education Ministry and the organisation.
They will be drawn from over 150 institutions that include Agricultural Science and Food and Nutrition in their curricula.
Additionally, Mr. Charles said, following the conference, the Ministry will be identifying ways to meet with students.
“You, students, have the creativity to push down the barriers; you must push the leaders to think more and to do more. You must be overt in expressing yourself. I want to hear what’s on your mind… and we want to say to you, come and play your role,” the Minister said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Charles has outlined additional collaborative efforts with key partners, such as the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.
“The Ministry of Labour and Social Security is connected to us because we provide employment for more than 200,000 in this country. We’re going to work with HEART [and] we’re going to work with all of the training facilities, to make sure that we can bring capacity to agriculture and fisheries,” he said.
“We are going to introduce, not only in the schools, but in the churches and in the community centres across Jamaica, the plans for how you can grow smart and eat smart, whether in your backyard or at your church. Everywhere in Jamaica, you can join the trend of growing smart and eating smart,” Minister Charles added.
Contact: Mickella Anderson
DECR’s Collaborative Fieldwork with Royal Botanic Gardens Kew Continues
#TurksandCaicos, November 29, 2022 – DECR welcomes Marcella Corcoran and Amy Barker of Royal Botanic Gardens Kew UK Overseas Territories team for three weeks of fieldwork on assessing endemic and near-endemic species of plants and identifying Tropical Important Plant Areas in TCI.
From 20 November through 11 December 2022, the team will be focusing on various plant habitats across TCI. On 22 November 2022, the team was shown the importance of the most common “bush” as they assessed seven endemic and near-endemic species of plants on a roadside in Blue Hills near the Phase Two community.
If you see the DECR and RBG Kew team out and around on Providenciales, Grand Turk, Salt Cay, North and Middle Caicos, or other islands, feel free to say hello and get to know our expert partners and meet some of TCI’s amazing 500+ native plant species.
Photo caption: Marcella Corcoran of RBG Kew and Dodly Prosper of DECR assess Millspaugh’s wild sisal Agave millspaughii in Blue Hills, Providenciales.
Historic Tripartite MOU Signing Ceremony
#TurksandCaicos, November 28, 2022 – A significant moment in the history of the Turks and Caicos Islands education sector was witnessed on November 17, 2022; as three entities under two separate Ministries collaborated in signing a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding with a specific focus to deliver quality technical vocational education and training as a critical component of rehabilitation for inmates.
The three (3) entities namely, Turks and Caicos Islands Community College, the Department of Correction and Rehabilitation and the HJ Robinson High School inked the MOU in fine style on the grounds of His Majesty’s Prison – Grand Turk. It was a high-profile event that saw some top Government Ministers attending to show support of the initiative. Among the Ministers present were Hon. Rachel Taylor, Hon. Josephine Connolly, Hon. Otis Morris, Hon. Arlington Musgrove and Hon. Shaun Malcolm. Other Senior Government and Education Officials were also on hand to witness the signing.
The Hon. Rachel Taylor, Minister of Education Labour, Employment and Customer Service, endorsed the agreement by pledging the Government’s support in sustaining this milestone MOU. Hon Taylor reasserted her Ministry’s commitment to delivering quality and timely education and training services across all sectors of the population.
Minister of Home Affairs, Public Utilities, and Transportation, Hon. Otis Morris, under whose Ministry the Department of Correction and Rehabilitation is housed, was optimistic about the prospects and positive impact of the MOU. Hon. Morris was keen to implore the inmates to make the best of their training under the TVET programme.
Dr. Candice Williams, President of the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College noted that ‘the tripartite partnership is a mechanism for enhancing offenders’ human capital. This improves their chances of success once they are released from custody and integrated into society’.
Although the MOU was signed on November 17, 2022, training interventions began as early as July 2022 as the three (3) parties have been laying the groundwork for cooperation and implementing the necessary systems to build sustainable training intervention model. TVET training is not only limited to the inmates of the DCR but also its Officers, who upon certification will be able to support the training delivery across the penal service.
Signatories of the MOU were Dr. Candice Williams – President of the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College, Acting Superintendent Raymond Grant – Department of Correction and Rehabilitation and Mr Berkely Williams – Principal of the HJ Robinson High School. The event was masterfully moderated by the TVET Dean at the Turks and Caicos Islands Community
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