UTech, Jamaica Signs MoU with IICA for Development of MSc in Rural Development

Prof. Stephen Vasciannie, CD, President, University of Technology, Jamaica and Dr. Elizabeth Johnson, Country Representative, Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) Ja display a copy of the signed Memorandum of Understanding between both entities following the signing ceremony on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at the UTech, Jamaica Papine campus.  Sharing in the occasion from left are Ms. Shauna Brandon, Rural Development Specialist, IICA Ja., Dr. Amani Ishemo, Associate Professor, Faculty of The Built Environment (FOBE), Dr. Garfield Young, Dean, FOBE and Mr. Hector Wheeler, Associate Vice President, Advancement, UTech, Ja. 

The University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech, Ja.) through its Faculty of The Built Environment has signed a formal partnership with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) for technical cooperation in developing a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Integrated Rural Development slated to be offered by the University in 2018. 

President, UTech, Ja., Professor Stephen Vasciannie, CD and Dr. Elizabeth Johnson, Representative IICA Jamaica signed a Memorandum of Understanding on October 25, 2017 at the University’s Papine campus.

IICA has been the specialized agency for agriculture of the Inter-American System for 75 years.  Its mission is “to encourage, promote and support our Member States in their efforts to achieve agricultural development and rural well-being through international technical cooperation of excellence.”  Through a Basic Agreement on Privileges and Immunities with the government of Jamaica, IICA is empowered to sign agreements and contracts in the territory of Jamaica.

Under the MoU Agreement UTech, Jamaica and IICA will pursue collaborative arrangements for inter alia, course development in areas related to agriculture and rural development, cooperative education/internship facilitation, capacity building, resource sharing, public education, joint publications and provision of scholarships and bursaries. The Agreement will be for a period of five (5) years.

UTech, Jamaica has also partnered with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) as one of the principal partners for the development of the Master’s Programme.

Prof. Stephen Vasciannie, President, UTech, Jamaica in welcoming the partnership said that “UTech, Jamaica shares unequivocally in the Government of Jamaica’s thrust to focus on strategies to significantly develop the country’s rural communities.”  He added that the development of the Master’s programme is timely in providing advanced training and opportunities for economic growth.

IICA’s Country Representative, Dr. Elizabeth Johnson in her remarks, pointed to the importance of capacity building and development in rural spaces as part of the thrust to eradicate poverty and to empower citizens to achieve wealth creation.

Dr. Amani Ishemo, Associate Professor, FOBE who has been leading the development of the MSc in Integrated Rural Development, noted that the programme will not focus only on agricultural development, but will have an inter-related emphasis on all aspects of rural development.  These will include practical issues related to entrepreneurship, mitigating vulnerability to foster resilience in communities, disaster management, issues related to climate change and other areas aimed at driving higher levels of productivity in rural areas.


Michelle Beckford (Mrs.)
Corporate Communications Manager
University of Technology, Jamaica
Telephone: 970-5299
Email: mbeckford@utech.edu.jm