GTI restructuring Agri. Programme to increase interest
As Guyana prepares for oil production, the Government Technical Institute is working to ensure that Agriculture remains a priority for the younger generation. As such, the Institute today embarked on restructuring its Agricultural Science programme to include practical sessions for students but is asking for more land to be made available.
Speaking to the News Room during an exclusive interview at the Institution, acting principal, Renita Crandon Duncan disclosed that over the years, the institute has been focusing primarily on Agriculture Engineering while Agriculture Science was only taught on a theoretical basis.
“It’s a start so that our students can actually see how we can utilize those same heavy-duty equipment that they’re actually using in the classroom (Agriculture Engineering), how they can actually put that to practice. We’re going to be planting…and at the end of the day, the programme in itself can be a little self-sufficient,” Duncan said.
The initiative is being undertaken through a partnership with Genequip.
Renger Van Dijk, Managing Director of Genequip, told News Room that the majority of the agriculture engineering students end up in mining but it is important to ensure that some persons remain interested in the sector.
He pointed out that, “the base of the economy here in Guyana, we’re already planting for four hundred years and for the next hundred years, we are still going to plant, people have to eat. You can’t eat diamonds and gold and you can’t drink oil.”
Lecturer of the Agriculture Machinery Department, Renaeto Yearwood, however, urged the authorities to provide more land as the plot of land they currently have is less than an acre. He noted that what is going to be put to use from today will soon be inadequate as crop production moves to large scale.
There are approximately 50 students enrolled in the Georgetown Technical Institute’s Agriculture programme.