Fri | Jan 18, 2019

Rita Marley Foundation goes organic

Published:Wednesday | November 15, 2017 | 12:00 AMShereita Grizzle
Dr Rita Marley
Rosemary Duncan (left), Rita Marley Foundation manager, and Nastacia Linton, first-place winner of last year’s essay competition.

Having pledged to work closely with young people, the Rita Marley Foundation (JA) has expanded its reach from literacy to agriculture.

After carrying out successful annual stagings of both the RMF Essay and Speech Competitions, the foundation spearheaded by Dr Rita Marley has set its sights on agriculture and recently conducted an organic farming training programme for high-school and kindergarten students.

Rosemary Duncan, manager at the Rita Marley Foundation (JA), said the foundation embarked on the programme to help the youth value the importance of organic agriculture.

The organisation brought US, based agricultural consultant, Steven Herbert, to train 105 students at Bustamante High School in Clarendon.

Theoretical and practical sessions were held three times a day with some 35 students per class. Participants were taught the characteristics and practices of organic farming, where they learnt that as opposed to conventional farming, which relies heavily on chemicals for fertilisation, pest and weed control, organic farming works in unison with nature. During practical sessions at the school's farm, students learnt how to build compost piles, among other things.

At the end of the programme, trainees learnt how to transform conventionally cultivated land into an organic farm.

Kindergarten students at St Tekle Hamonait Basic School in Bull Bay received basic training.