The Faculty of Food and Agriculture governs the following Departments and Units:
The Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension (DAEE) concentrates its activities in agricultural economics, agricultural extension, communications and outreach, human nutrition and dietetics, consumer sciences, agribusiness, foodservice management and business services.
The DAEE considers itself a unit that can successfully help in the improvement of Caribbean health and nutrition, and the development of economic, environmental and agricultural policies at the national and regional levels.
Since the Department of Food Production formation in 1996, its disciplinary base has been expanding. The current list of expertise in the Department includes food and agricultural scientists and technologists (specialists in soils and the environment, natural resource management, tropical crops, livestock production, animal breeding, food science, postharvest technology and agronomy, food safety and quality, tropical crop protection, microbiology, tropical landscaping, biostatistics and biosystems engineering).
Geography has been taught at The U.W.I. since the 1960s (at the Mona Campus, Jamaica), and has been offered at the St Augustine Campus since 2005. The programme has since expanded and The Department of Geography was created under The Faculty of Food and Agriculture (FFA) on 1 August 2012. The Department offers a Geography BSc Major which can be paired and completed concurrently with other related majors, and a Geography BSc (Special), which requires the completion of an undergraduate research dissertation. Close links with the Department of Geography and Geology at Mona are maintained, meaning that transfer between campuses and programmes is possible.
In addition to Geography, the Department hosts a Major in Environmental and Natural Resources Management (ENRM), which is taught across the FFA. The Majors in Geography and ENRM may be completed together, or either of them may be paired with other related majors such as Agribusiness or Chemistry. Students based in the Faculty of Humanities and Education (FHE) may complete a Geography BA Major in combination with majors such as History, Linguistics or Film.
The Department's offices and the GIS Research Laboratory are both housed in the John Spence Building (Building B) on the St. Augustine main campus (near the North Gate); the Physical Geography (Soils) Laboratory is located above the Department of Food Production Laboratories. Most teaching and learning activities are done in FFA lecture rooms and theatres at the north end of the campus.
The University of the West Indies, Faculty of Food and Agriculture, Business Development Unit (UWI FFA BDU) was developed out of the expressed need for relevant up-to-date and effective training, specific to situations in the private and public sectors. Courses are designed for practitioners/farmers, entrepreneurs, public servants, extension officers and graduates of agricultural institutes.
For more than a decade the BDU has been fulfilling part of its mandate “to conduct applicable, cost effect short courses in all aspects of agriculture, food and environment.” To date the BDU has conducted a series of training programmes and have trained hundreds of persons.
Some of the training courses completed throughout the years include Landscape Management for Entrepreneurs, Advanced Landscape Management for Entrepreneurs, Essentials of Orchid Management for Entrepreneurs, the Handling and Marketing of Agricultural Chemicals, Course for Commercial Pest Control Operators and the Training Course on Plant Nutrition and Soil Fertility Management. In the more recent years, training programmes including the In Vitro Clonal Propagation of Tropical Plants and the UWI Regional Plant Quarantine Officer Training: Principles and Procedures Course were added.
Additionally, the UWI FFA BDU serves as the secretariat to the Deputy Dean, Outreach and Internationalization and the Caribbean Council for Higher Education in Agriculture (CACHE), a regional umbrella organization of higher education institutions offering Agriculture in the Caribbean (www.cache-caribbean.org).
The Faculty of Food and Agriculture has established a Communications and Publications Unit, operating out of the Dean’s Office. The goal of this unit is to create a central focal point for communication and publication, video, audio as well as web-based media production and provide technical, marketing and distribution support to the Faculty.
Among its varied activities, the unit publishes the journal Tropical Agriculture (which was established in 1924 under the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture) and the faculty newsletter.
The unit, headed by Ms Sarojini Ragbir, Communications Coordinator, is also staffed by Audio Visual Technician, Mr Terry Sampson, the Editor In Chief of Tropical Agriculture, Professor Emeritus, Julian Duncan and Research Assistant, Ms Treasure Alcindor.
The University Farms, namely the University Field Station and the Agricultural Innovation Park, at Valsayn and Orange Grove respectively, support the field-based research, teaching activities of the Faculty of Food and Agriculture by providing the technical and non-technical resources necessary to support these activities. Some commercial projects are also undertaken at these sites, wherever they could be incorporated with the main activities of the farms.