Young farmer Kyle Rampart has a passion for planting and spends every spare moment on his family’s parcel of land at Manzanilla.
Unlike his peers who are often glued to cellphones, tablets and other electronic devices, the 12-year-old isn’t afraid of getting his hands dirty or sweating under the sun.
Kyle a standard two student of Mayaro Government Primary School, not only grows healthy crops of different varieties of watermelons, he also practises a healthy lifestyle by staying away from certain snacks.
“I like farming, it is a dirty job, but food makes people happy, and I like to be happy too. I play a little, but I prefer to run through the land,” he said during an interview at the garden on Thursday.
Kyle, who lives in Paradise Village, Mayaro, may be small in stature but his ambitions are huge.
Every weekend, evenings after school, and even on festive holidays he can be found on the land preparing the land, planting crops or helping harvesting.
Not only is he willing to learn from his father about farming, he too educates himself about new methods of planting and caring for crops and willingly shares his knowledge with customers.
“I often have to explain the different types of watermelons we sell at my father’s business. We have red, yellow, blue and orange varieties. I can spot the melons by looking at the skin.”
He believes in the slogan plant what you eat and loves his mother’s cooking, especially her watermelon smoothies.
“When you plant, you know what you’re eating. When you buy food you don’t know and they can put all kind of things in it and you might get sick.”
On a broader scale, Rampart thinks this country can grow more food to help reduce the number of products it imports and plans to become a full-time farmer in the future.
“I love agriculture and I think the Minister of Agriculture Clarence Rambharat has a lot of work to do. There is a lot of land for me to plant, somebody has to get dirty, we don’t need a minister if it don’t have food.”
Kyle, the eldest of three siblings, has hope that a day will come when he and many other farmers can plant enough to feed the country and reduce the food import bill. He believes farmers can produce more.
His parents, Vashtie and Curtis, are proud and happy with their son’s natural caring and helpful spirit.
Curtis explained, “Kyle is a very had working child, we do have some challenges with his academics so my wife, Vashtie, spends extra time with him so that there is a balance. His grades at school fluctuates between B and C.”
He said his children’s education was their first priority and thinks a combination of academics and first-hand knowledge of farming “is priceless.”
Curtis said his eldest son began showing an interest in farming from a young age and was a natural leader. So much so, he can leave his son to supervise the workers on the farm under the guidance of his wife.
He encouraged other parents to support “whatever is their child’s passion and help them find the balance.”
“Whatever is their desire, the passion will follow.”
Kyle’s advice to other children who may be thinking about getting into farming was that like many other jobs it was hard work.
“You must first love it, don’t be afraid to get dirt on your hands.”
In addition to farming, Kyle loves sports, such as football and hard ball cricket which he plays with his father, whom he described as his role model.