‘Team Agri-Info’ – Students of Success Laventille Composite and St George’s College win Trinidad-leg of AgriHack Talent Competition

Friday 12th September, 2014 saw the awarding of four students of the Success Laventille Composite and St George’s College with the winning prize for the Trinidad leg of the Regional AgriHack Competition. The Form Four students Kris Adams, Mikaeel Andrews, Nicholai Rajkumar and Jairaj Singh call themselves ‘Team Agri-Info‘. They were also adjudged the People’s Choice along with ‘Team Agriology‘ – a group of all girl students of Success Laventille Composite School.

With some twenty-four players of four teams, the AgriHack Talent Caribbean is a Caribbean initiative for ICT for Agriculture. Its main objective is to support the development of ICT innovations and entrepreneurship in agriculture by young people. Students were presented with six Caribbean challenges facing regional agriculture stakeholders from which to choose and tasked with developing an application to solve this. Their presentation included the elements of the problem, the proposed solution, the target audience for the application, clearly outlined benefits, and revenue streams.

‘A marriage between agriculture and ICT’ is how one student described the competition. Another, speaking about the experience said ‘agriculture is cool … I am thinking about studying agri-science because of this’. Dr. Arlington Chesney, CARDI’s Executive Director spoke on the issue of the true value of agriculture stating that ‘in agriculture, we need to have a new set of skills’; assuring the excited students that they have a ‘regional partner in CARDI’. All competing students were commended for their spirit of camaraderie and for embracing the opportunity presented.

The other competing teams were ‘Team AgriTech’ with students of the University of Trinidad and Tobago and the College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago (COSTAATT); and Team Bishop Centenary.

The Competition’s main partners are Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), and Microsoft; with Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago and CGA sponsors. The Competition was hosted by Community HUB Corporation.

Competitions have already been held in Suriname by host Telesur Multimedia Innovation Laboratory on August 23rd, 2014. Five (5) more will be held in the countries of Barbados, Dominica, Jamaica and St Kitts.

Attending the Award Ceremony were Ms. Frances Correira, Microsoft; Mr. Phillip Agostini, CGA; Mr. Gregg Rawlins, Representative, IICA; Ms. Lisa Martinez, FAO; Ms. Gia Gaspard-Taylor, President, Network of Rural Women Producers (NRWP); and supporting teachers and parents.

Attending the Award Ceremony were Ms. Frances Correira, Microsoft; Mr. Phillip Agostini, CGA; Mr. Gregg Rawlins, Representative, IICA; Ms. Lisa Martinez, FAO; Ms. Gia Gaspard-Taylor, President, Network of Rural Women Producers (NRWP); and supporting teachers and parents.

The Trinidad and Tobago winners ‘Team Agri-Info‘ will move on to the regional finals that will be held during the Caribbean Week of Agriculture, scheduled for October 6th – 12th, 2014 in Suriname, where they will compete for seed grants amounting to approximately TT$42,000, TT$33,500 and TT$25,000 for the first, second and third overall positions respectively. There will also be post competition incubation and business support to the winning teams for a period of six months.

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