Wed | Oct 5, 2022

Budding Farmers Grow Club to help with food security

Published:Friday | May 21, 2021 | 12:06 AM
Matthew Henry is hard at work in the garden.
Matthew Henry is hard at work in the garden.
Founder of Budding Farmers Grow Club, Grace Henry, stands proudly beside her children and co-founders, Mikayla-Ann and Matthew Henry.
Founder of Budding Farmers Grow Club, Grace Henry, stands proudly beside her children and co-founders, Mikayla-Ann and Matthew Henry.
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The new Budding Farmers Grow Club, an agriculture-based extracurricular activity, aims to engage children in discovering the ins and outs of planting, growing and caring for agricultural outputs from the farm to the table. The club launched virtually last Friday.

What started as an escape from the pandemic has blossomed into the roll-out of a school-based farming club. Co-founders Mikayla-Ann and Matthew Henry, four and six years old, respectively, are intent on spreading their love for farming and the outdoors to as many children across the world as possible.

If founder Grace Henry had it her way, every home in Jamaica would have a backyard garden so that no child would go to bed hungry or malnourished. She highlighted at the launch that, “As part of the Budding Farmers Grow Club, at the end of each term children would have participated in numerous experiments, projects and, most importantly, would either be reaping from their farm or in the process of seeing their farm mature.”

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Floyd Green has tapped the Budding Farmers Grow Club as one of the initiatives that will help increase Jamaica’s food security challenge. The announcement took place at the launch.

“We are starting a movement to get Jamaica growing, and the earlier that we can introduce our children to farming, the better. A country that can feed itself is a country that can do well. To do so, we must do more backyard gardening initiatives. This Budding Farmers initiative directly aligns with our priorities as we want a food-secure Jamaica.”

MINISTRY SUPPORT

Minister of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change, Pearnel Charles Jr, expressed his ministry’s full support of the Budding Farmers programme and its long-term impact on negating the impact of climate change. “When it comes on to climate change, this is it, it is our human activity that causes the negative effect, not the climate, and so this [Budding Farmers Grow Club] is important because this is allowing our children to know how to be constructive and responsible citizens.”

The Grow Club will operate virtually and is open to children ages three years to 16 years old. Registration can be done through one’s school or independently by visiting the club’s social media pages @buddingfarmersja.