Vieux Fort Comprehensive Students Get Pest Management Training – St. Lucia Times

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

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In a visionary move towards nurturing environmentally conscious agricultural leaders of tomorrow, the Vieux Fort Comprehensive Secondary School has embraced the introduction of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) training for its Agriculture students.

This initiative, spearheaded by World University Service of Canada (WUSC) Caribbean, not only equips students with practical skills but also instills a profound understanding of sustainable farming practices.

IPM is a holistic approach to pest management that focuses on ecological, economic, and social sustainability. It promotes the use of natural predators, cultural practices, and resistant crop varieties to control pests, reducing the reliance on chemical pesticides and minimizing their impact on the environment.

This forward-thinking approach aims to empower the next generation of farmers with the knowledge and tools needed to adopt sustainable practices from the outset of their agricultural careers.

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In a world increasingly focused on sustainable practices, students with IPM training are better positioned for diverse career opportunities in agriculture.

They become valuable assets to the industry, contributing to the development of resilient and environmentally conscious agricultural systems.

Mr. Linton Alphonse, the Agriculture teacher at the Vieux Fort Comprehensive Secondary School, expressed his enthusiasm for the positive impact of IPM training on students.

“At this school we have the Agriculture program from Form 1 up to Form 5. We possess strong theoretical knowledge, but our practical capabilities are still evolving. We are excited about this initiative as interest in agriculture is growing, particularly in the context of food security and sustainable farming. With more training like this, I foresee a bright, agricultural future,” he remarked.

The first Training session took place at the Vieux Fort Comprehensive Secondary School, facilitated by Mr. Johnny Smith from the Ministry of Agriculture.

Zara John, participant in the session said, “My decision to study Agriculture was influenced by my dad, who does farming on the side. He’s into aquaponics which I find interesting. I help with the animals and farm at home. Even though I’d like to study medicine, I chose Agriculture as a side subject because I want to do Aquaponics too. Today’s session was insightful as it taught me about different pests and how they affect plants.”

The remaining three sessions will be practically held on the school farm where WUSC Caribbean and Officers from the Ministry of Agriculture will facilitate hands-on-experience, allowing students to apply the principles of IPM in real-world scenarios.

Country Coordinator of WUSC Caribbean, Dr. Nadia Pacquette-Anselm says “The initiative to introduce IPM training to the agricultural community, showcases the organization’s commitment to promoting sustainable agriculture and environmental stewardship. By bridging the gap between traditional farming practices and modern, eco-friendly approaches, this program is expected to have a lasting impact on the local agricultural community and contribute to the overall resilience of the region’s food security system”.

SOURCE: Sustainable Agriculture in the Caribbean Project

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