Na­tional School Gar­den Pro­gramme re­launched

Jamaica Gleaner - - ENTERTAINMENT -

Min­is­ter of Na­tional Se­cu­rity, Robert Mon­tague (left) and Su­per­in­ten­dent of Po­lice, Cedric Allen, view one of the pre-owned mo­tor cars that was de­ployed in St James,on Tues­day. THE GOVERN­MENT has re­launched the Na­tional School Gar­den Pro­gramme to boost the pro­vi­sion of break­fast in ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions across the is­land and demon­strate the im­por­tance of agri­cul­ture to stu­dents.

Un­der the pro­gramme, the schools will be pro­vided with seeds, fer­tiliser, agri­cul­tural tools, and irrigation sys­tems.

“We also want to teach the young stu­dents that agri­cul­ture is good, it is im­por­tant, and it is one where you can make money,” said Min­is­ter with­out Port­fo­lio in the Min­istry of In­dus­try, Com­merce, Agri­cul­ture and Fish­eries, J.C. Hutchin­son.

He was de­liv­er­ing the key­note ad­dress at the re­launch of the ini­tia­tive on Oc­to­ber 28 at the Mo­cho Pri­mary School in Claren­don.

Hutchin­son said that each gar­den would cost about $300,000 to de­velop and the min­istry would be work­ing with the Ru­ral Agri­cul­tural Devel­op­ment Author­ity to en­sure the sus­tain­abil­ity of the pro­gramme.

He said the gar­dens would serve as demon­stra­tion plots for the train­ing of farm­ers as well as for pro­vid­ing them with tech­ni­cal ad­vice.

One hun­dred and ninety-six schools have been se­lected for the first phase of the pro­gramme. New­port Fer­san will be adopt­ing 13 school gar­dens and pro­vid­ing nu­tri­ent man­age­ment. The fer­tiliser man­u­fac­turer and sup­plier will also pro­vide more than $2 mil­lion for a school gar­den com­pe­ti­tion, which the min­istry will be or­gan­is­ing.

Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor New­port Fer­san Den­nis Valdez said it was “grat­i­fy­ing to in­vest in our youth”, and the col­lab­o­ra­tion with the min­istry would make a pos­i­tive im­pact on youth in agri­cul­ture. Min­is­ter with­out Port­fo­lio in the Min­istry of In­dus­try, Com­merce, Agri­cul­ture and Fish­eries J.C. Hutchin­son plants a tree on the grounds of the Mo­cho Pri­mary School in Claren­don. Look­ing on are Coun­cil­lor for the Rocky Point Di­vi­sion, Claren­don Parish Coun­cil, Win­ston Maragh (right); Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor at New­port Fer­san, Den­nis Valdez; and stu­dents of the school.

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