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The global information intensive economy has brought many changes and challenges to all nations. In this new economy the availability of information is growing at an exponential rate and the technologies which are used to store and access this information continue to change rapidly. In small developing nation states such as those in the Caribbean, the combination of these two factors constitutes a serious threat to the region’s ability to compete effectively in the global marketplace simply because the region does not generally have a workforce which is skilled in the efficient use of information. Knowledge of, and the ability to use computer technology is not an adequate response to this challenge posed by the information society. What is required is a cadre of information consumers who have the ability to know when and how to effectively use the new technologies as well as when and how to use the resources to which these new technologies provide access. And, in this context one of the goals of institutions of higher education in the region must be to graduate these information consumers. To achieve this requires curriculum reform that is supported by an educational philosophy that is informed by the recognition of the critical role of information literacy skills for the knowledge economy. To support the authors’ contention that the teaching of these skills is critical for agribusiness development, the paper will present the results of a survey of the members of the Faculty of Agriculture at The University of the West Indies. The survey seeks to ascertain faculty perceptions of the importance of information literacy competencies for graduates in the faculty as well as their perception of the information research skills of the students they teach. Through the examination of these two variables the authors will propose a conceptual framework to transform the curriculum into one that will produce graduates who are information literate and functional as lifelong learners. In proposing this framework the authors will also establish the significant role information professionals have to play as partners working with academics and administrators to reform the curricula of agricultural education in the region.


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