Fri | Jul 30, 2021

Portmore residents urged to embrace backyard farming

Published:Thursday | February 25, 2021 | 12:14 AM
Member of Parliament for South East St Catherine, Robert Miller, looks at herbs during the launch of the Backyard Garden project at the HEART College of Construction Services in Portmore, St Catherine, on February 19.
Member of Parliament for South East St Catherine, Robert Miller, looks at herbs during the launch of the Backyard Garden project at the HEART College of Construction Services in Portmore, St Catherine, on February 19.

Residents of Portmore, St Catherine, are being encouraged to embrace the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries’ Backyard Garden project.

Making the appeal, Member of Parliament for South East St Catherine, Robert Miller, said the project, which will provide some 2,500 householders with kits to start their own vegetable and herb gardens, will ensure food security for residents, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said he will be pushing the concept across communities and in schools.

“I am excited about it. It is a very good programme, and with this pandemic that we are facing, we have to grow our own foods,” he said.

Miller was speaking at the recent launch of the initiative at the HEART College of Construction Services in Portmore.

Under the $10-million project, residents across the island, especially in urban and peri-urban centres, will be assisted to grow vegetables and herbs in small spaces in their backyards or other community spaces.

They are being encouraged to devote spaces for the production of two to four vegetable crops per year, such as pepper, cabbage, tomato, callaloo, and pak choi.

Marina Young, principal director for technical services at the Rural Agricultural Development Authority, which will carry out the project, said interested persons can obtain manuals on backyard gardening at all their parish offices.

Information is also available on the agency’s website at https://rada.gov.jm/and YouTube channel.

The director said the project is a “great opportunity” for Jamaicans to get involved in growing their own food.

“It is a food security initiative,” she said, noting that it will also serve to improve the general health and well-being of citizens.