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Minister visits agricultural sites on island

Saturday September 01, 2018 Written by Published in Politics
Venture Exports Ltd’s Rick Reid and Agriculture minister Rose Brown check out the vegetable garden at Tereora College during the minister’s visit to the school on Friday. 18083109 Venture Exports Ltd’s Rick Reid and Agriculture minister Rose Brown check out the vegetable garden at Tereora College during the minister’s visit to the school on Friday. 18083109

New Agriculture minister Rose Brown visited a number of agricultural establishments on Friday, including an organic fertiliser company, some schools, a hydroponic farm and vanilla orchard.

 

Speaking at Tereora College she said, “If we (Cabinet ministers) just sit in our offices, then nothing is going to happen. 

“It won’t work. It’s good to come out and speak to the students, the teachers and the community.”

Regarding the college’s agricultural and horticultural department, she said the school was doing well and was well on its way with its projects, but there were still some things they needed.

“You are on your way, but you do need land and resources. For students to be able to go out of the classroom and just pick a banana (in the college grounds), that’s what I want to see.”

The college’s agriculture and horticultural department head, Ora Paio said seeds were what was needed most of all.

“Seeds are the most important, we can’t do anything without them, and for us they are expensive.”

Next to seeds was the difficulty of land for the students to grow their plants

“The problem of the land is holding us back, and it is not just a problem here but throughout the island.

“There is a lot of work for us to do, so that the country can benefit from agriculture. I tell my students that exporting to New Zealand is out of the question now, because of fruit fly and we don’t have the technology to get rid of it.”

He says a temporary solution to the land issue is for students to grow their own garden plots at home.

“I encourage students to get a garden going and then they can start selling their produce at the market.”

Tereora College principal Tania Morgan says the relationship between the school and the Agriculture ministry is important in many ways, with opportunities for internships leading off onto other employment pathways for students.

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