- at Critchlow Labour College
One of Guyana’s oldest training institutions, the Critchlow Labour College (CLC), has moved to establish the Guyana Climate Change and Food Security Institute (GCCFSI) and the Centre for Agricultural and Environmental Studies (CAES) to afford Guyanese the opportunity to get involved in agriculture.
Academic Director and Head of the Institute, Bissasar Chintamanie, said on Sunday that following a review of its programmes, the CLC decided to offer more specific and relevant training for the agricultural sector – training opportunities that are demand-driven.
He said the GCCFSI would aim to provide innovative and effective scientific contributions to reduce hunger and poverty, and achieve food security.
“Using a multidisciplinary approach through teaching, the GCCFSI will conduct research and provide policy advice in cooperation with national and international development organisations and partner with higher education institutes in the developing world,” Chintamanie explained.
According to him, the institute will also help Guyanese realise their full potential to create wealth, while contributing to environmental conservation efforts.
Starting September, the college will be offering the following courses: Certificate in Sustainable Agriculture, Certificate in Sustainable Forestry, Certificate in Fisheries and Aquaculture, Certificate in Sustainable Mining, and a Master of Science/Post-Graduate Diploma in Food Security and Climate Change.
Chintamanie said the teaching of these courses was organised in modules, ranging in number from 12 to 16. The delivery of materials will take a variety of forms, including lectures, classes, seminars and group exercises.
“Assessment is modular and involves coursework and examinations. Classes are arranged in all three counties of Guyana. The nature of the assessment is determined by the objective of each programme and the aims of the modules,” he further explained.
According to Chintamanie, the new courses will provide students with the skills and tools for developing agricultural and environmental practices, policies, and measures to address the challenges that global warming posed to agriculture, food security, and the environment worldwide.
“These courses will provide students with a detailed understanding of the principles and processes of sustainable agriculture, sustainable forestry, sustainable aquaculture, sustainable mining, and climate change, including its social and environmental impacts,” he added.
It will also equip students who already have work experience in the sectors to implement the latest research in sustainable systems thinking, and will facilitate cutting-edge careers for those who want to enter the agricultural and environmental fields.
Chintamanie told this publication that with a per capita shrinking of agricultural resources, the task would be enormous, to maintain and upgrade the skills and competencies of the local labour force in order to overcome the predicted challenges of increased production and productivity of the sector.
“The sector needs to increase its human resource capabilities in different fields through the development of skills and capacities, as well as enhanced knowledge and information exchange between the actors involved in innovation, including farmers and their organisations,” he asserted.
Agriculture remains the mainstay of the rural populations and the most dominant of the country’s economic sectors, followed by mining. It has been a major contributor to Gross Domestic Product (GDP); exports; direct and indirect employment; and rural transformation in Guyana.
It is the source of livelihood for nearly 38 per cent of the population and contributes about 20 per cent of the GDP.
Persons who wish to inquire about the courses as well as admission requirements could make contact with the CLC on 1-592-226-2483.