Former President Anthony Carmona called for corporate TT to support scientists and academics as they seek innovations in food production and agriculture.
Carmona made the call on Monday at the launch of UWI’s Science and Technology Week 2019.
“As we seek to implement SDG (sustainable development goal) 1, which calls on states to end poverty in all its forms and provide food security, greater emphasis should be placed by UWI on scientific and technological innovation in food production and the agricultural sector as a whole.
“Having said that, I am sure the deputy principal would at some time whisper to me that what I have said would require additional financial injection, at a time when the budget of the UWI reflects a shortfall in financial contributions to the government,” Carmona said. “I am calling for corporate TT to partner with the Faculty of Agriculture after observing the necessary protocols in providing the requisite financing to facilitate greater research and innovation in food production.”
Carmona said the partnership would be an homage to the late scientist in animal husbandry and veterinarian Dr Steve Bennett, who took ten years of research to develop the buffalypso – a disease-resistant species of cattle which is used in several countries including Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Venezuela, the US and Italy.
“It is an indictment on how we treat local agriculture and scientists that buffalypso is not contributing to national food security as it should be doing in the land of its development,” Carmona commented.
He added that the media should also prioritise on environmental issues, and commended a New Zealand newspaper which said it put special priority on reporting environmental developments and made sure to report scientific fact.
He pointed to several actions taken by students to fight against climate change and for the environment which have never been reported in the news.
He said as president he witnessed an action similar to the student climate strikes overseas in recent weeks.
“This was a march against plastic bags organised by Brazil Secondary School in 2018. Before Massy announced its plastic-bag ban this school partnered with Extra Foods in Arima and arranged a walkabout to encourage students and parents to stop the use of single-use plastic bags.”