News Releases

Agricultural Innovation Competition launched for Secondary School students

For Release Upon Receipt - March 10, 2016

St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Trinidad and Tobago. March 8, 2016 – The Faculty of Food and Agriculture at The University of the West Indies (UWI) St. Augustine in partnership with Repsol recently launched its first Agricultural Innovation competition for secondary schools throughout Trinidad and Tobago. The competition is part of The Agriculture Demonstration of Practices and Technologies (ADOPT) Project, funded by The UWI-Trinidad and Tobago Research and Development Impact (RDI) Fund. The project encourages the development of innovative technologies to address agricultural challenges within food systems. The formal launch took place on February 23 at The UWI St. Augustine Campus.   

The aim of the competition is twofold – to promote and strengthen secondary education in Agriscience and forge links with secondary and university programmes at the Faculty of Food and Agriculture. The Faculty – which comprises the Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, Department of Food Production, Department of Geography and the Business Development Unit – offers a range of programmes at the certificate, undergraduate and postgraduate level. The hope is that the competition will encourage more young Trinbagonians to pursue the Faculty’s programmes. 

The ADOPT Project looks at improving the sustainability of the Protected Agriculture Industry through increasing the contribution of protected agriculture produce to food security goals. One of its goals is to implement non-traditional systems for small-scale farming, aimed at strengthening local food security and adapting traditional open field farming methods in the face of variations in climate. The project blends Protected Agriculture shade house technology with a combination of alternative agricultural methods like hydroponics, organoponics, hybridponics, aquaponics, peeponics, aeroponics, vermiponics and barrel-ponics growing systems and LED light technology for sustainable food production using low-cost or recyclable materials. 

There are 3 phases in the competition: In Phase I, interested schools will send their letter of interest and proposal of their innovative ideas to address food security using the competition guidelines. Fifty schools will then be short-listed as part of Phase II and asked to submit drawings of their design and a budget. Finally, Phase III will see ten schools further short-listed and asked to build a table-top prototype of their proposed design. 

Student-teams in Forms 2 to 5 are invited to participate in the competition which runs till June 2016. Interested schools can contact the Department of Food Production via email at, or call 662-2002 ext. 82090 or 84055 for further information.




About The UWI

Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with well over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. Website:


(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)