'Farming inna the city' - Jones Town to cultivate cropson empty housing plots
Laura Redpath, Senior Reporter
Dr Christopher Tufton (left), minister of agriculture, is about to plant a banana tree with the assistant of the Reverend Doreen Wynter, a pastor with the Jones Town Circuit of Baptist Churches. - Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer
The Jones Town community has plans to turn dusty unoccupied land into oases of food and plants in keeping with the idea of eating what you grow.
The Jones Town Baptist Church and the Jamaica Baptist Union Mission Agency launched the initiative 'Farming inna the City' yesterday.
The project's goals include providing employment, lessening poverty and encouraging self-development among persons in Jones Town.
The Ministry of Water and Housing leased 20 empty lots to the Jones Town Baptist Church. These lots once had houses on them, but the lots remain bare because of years of violence.
"We pray you will take (the initiative) from here today and it will grow spiritually," the Reverend Dr Stephen Jennings, president of the Jamaica Baptist Union, said.
Minister of Agriculture Dr Christopher Tufton endorsed the project, saying hands willing to work and mouths needing to be fed made the "perfect opportunity".
While speaking to the gathering of 50 persons at the Jones Town Baptist Church, Tufton said 60 per cent of food Jamaicans consume was impor-ted and that the figure remained too high.
"It makes us dependent on others to provide for us.
"It also makes us vulnerable," he said.
One of the minister's final points touched on the satisfaction of growing what you eat, after which he charged the community.
"I say, let's get you on the road."
"Yes sir," voices mumbled in reply.
Persons made their way over to one of the many plots. The land was dry and dusty to start with and by the end of the groundbreaking, there was a banana tree standing by itself.