Rich­fond Com­bined reap­ing the benefits of First Cit­i­zens spon­sored Green­house

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Ex­cited stu­dents of the Rich­fond Com­bined School and mem­bers of the First Cit­i­zens team this week har­vested rich green heads of let­tuce from the school’s newly ac­quired green­house just in time for lunch on Thurs­day March 12th.

Let­tuce is but one of the many crops be­ing grown in the school’s green­house, funded by First Cit­i­zens In­vest­ment Ser­vices, as part of the com­pany’s con­tri­bu­tion to the is­land’s School Feed­ing Pro­gramme and the Zero Hunger Chal­lenge which calls for col­lab­o­ra­tion from the public and pri­vate sec­tor to help “elim­i­nate hunger in our life­times”.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture were on hand to over­see the har­vest of the crop which took about six weeks to fully bloom. Stu­dents and teach­ers, with as­sis­tance from the com­mu­nity’s agri­cul­tural ex­ten­sion of­fi­cer, have been nur­tur­ing the gar­den in which they have also planted toma­toes, pep­pers and cab­bage; with plans to ex­pand crop va­ri­ety to in­clude cu­cum­bers and other healthy crops.

The Rich­fond Com­bined School is one of ten schools se­lected as part of a pi­lot pro­gramme be­ing spear­headed by the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture, the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion, the Min­istry of Health and the Food and Agri­cul­ture Or­ga­ni­za­tion (FAO), the aim of which is to pro­vide as­sis­tance by strength­en­ing school gar­dens so the prod­ucts cul­ti­vated can be used for the re­spec­tive School Feed­ing Pro­grammes.

First Cit­i­zens In­vest­ment Ser­vices Re­gional Manager Ca­role Eleuthere-Jn Marie was part of the team on hand to view the har­vest­ing and ex­pressed her com­pany’s com­fort with the sus­tain­able na­ture of the pro­gramme.

“We are so proud to see this project, lit­er­ally, bear fruit,” she said. “To see the stu­dents ac­tu­ally in­volved in the process is even more im­pres­sive as we seek to re­vive and sup­port our agri­cul­ture in­dus­try. We see the plant­ing and har­vest­ing of healthy crops that will be used daily so we know that this green­house was a great in­vest­ment that will ben­e­fit the gen­er­a­tions that come through this school. We com­mend the teach­ers, stu­dents and the sup­port team who de­serve so much credit for man­ag­ing this process and we are so hum­bled to be as­so­ci­ated with such an ini­tia­tive.”

Carol Eleuthere-Jn Marie

with stu­dent.

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