Extension Assistants Participate In Training As Part Of COVID-19 Backyard Gardening Initiative

PR – Ten (10) Extension Assistants from the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, participated in a special session organized by the Grenada Food and Nutrition Council (GFNC), as part of the COVID -19 Backyard Gardening Initiative on Thursday 13th, August.

The training, which was held at the Produce Chemist Lab at Tanteen, St. George’s, forms part of the knowledge sharing process on the benefits and utilization of selected crops in the preparation and consumption of healthy meals, as part of the Backyard Gardening Initiative.

The Extension Assistants will be able to use the information from the training, in the field, when they provide technical and other support to the beneficiaries of the programme.

As the Ministry implements the Backyard Gardening Initiative with a holistic view, “We thought it prudent that we provide Extension Assistants with basic information, so they can provide that level of support to beneficiaries of the programme, so that we achieve the objective, which is ensuring proper nutrition, at the household level,” said Gabriel Clarke, Agronomist and Unit Coordinator at SAEP.

The COVID-19 Backyard Gardening Initiative will support five hundred (500) vulnerable households, along with support for geriatric homes to promote healthy eating and access to food.

The training was facilitated by, Gardiner Savoury Community Nutritionist at the Grenada Food and Nutrition Council (GFNC). According to Savoury, “when you know what you are eating and you are cognizant of the fact the foods that we have in Grenada are rich in nutrients, they are healthy for our public. I think it is going to encourage you to plant more, which would mean we would be more secure.”

The beneficiaries will be able to incorporate the knowledge on selected crops into food preparation, which would significantly contribute to maintaining a balanced diet at the household level.

Extension Assistant, Brenda Phillip, spoke of how she was able to benefit from such a training.

“With this information that I gained here today, I would be encouraging persons, benefitting from this programme, to eat healthily and [explain] ways to incorporate them into our diets.”

A total of 22 Extension Assistants – 10 from the Ministry of Agriculture and 12 from the Climate Smart Rural Enterprise Development Project (SAEP) – will be providing technical and other support to beneficiaries of the Backyard Gardening Initiative. The training for the SAEP Extension Assistants was held on Wednesday 12th August, while the Extension Assistants from the Ministry, were trained on Thursday 13th. The Backyard Gardening Initiative aims to promote healthy, nutritious, locally grown, and safe foods for vulnerable persons in Grenada. It is one of the initiatives by the Ministry that ties in with the National Food Security Strategy or COVID-19 Mitigation and Response.