PR – As the country deals with the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the agricultural sector and the national economy, greater focus is being placed on increasing agricultural output at both the commercial and household levels in Grenada.
One initiative is the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands’ Backyard Gardening Programme, a component of the Government of Grenada’s COVID-19 Mitigation and Response plan, geared towards the agricultural sector.
This programme will provide a unique opportunity for over five hundred (500) vulnerable households, along with local institutions that have limited and or irregular access to healthy and nutritious foods. Through this programme, the target beneficiaries will receive material support such as seeds and other planting material, small garden tools and labour support.
“The Ministry will also provide drums and tires to beneficiaries who lack sufficient land space around their house. We will provide technical assistance to ensure that the gardens are sustained,” explained Minister for Agriculture and Lands, Hon. Yolande Bain-Horsford, as she delivered remarks at the launch of the programme, on Sept. 10, at the Cadrona Home, one of the benefiting institutions.
Welcoming the contribution of food and nutrition security to her community was the Parliamentary Representative for St. Andrew North-West and Minister for Social Development and Housing, Hon. Delma Thomas.
“We know that food security is a very essential part of our national development. This initiative is significant now more than ever, as it would allow us to grow what we eat and eat what we grow,” she said.
The Backyard Gardening Programme emphasizes the importance of nutritious food for a healthy lifestyle, while promoting food security and the adaption of Climate-Smart Agricultural (CSA) Practices.
This programme is being undertaken in collaboration with the Climate Smart and Rural Enterprise Programme (SAEP) and its funders at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
SAEP’s Manager, Byron Campbell, said, “Climate change and COVID-19 seem to be the new norm. Projects like these are in line with SAEP’s mandate to reduce poverty, build resistance to climate change and promote the best agricultural practices that are climate smart and sustainable.”
Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Cadrona Home, Ms. Margaret Wilson, expressed her gratitude on behalf of the institution. Three-quarters of an acre of land at the Home has already been cultivated with a wide range of vegetable crops.
“This is something I believe in – eating what we grow and growing what we eat. Everything coming from the garden will filter into the kitchen; the chickens that we grow here, also, we will use in providing meals for residents. With the aid we were given under this programme, we will have little patches. We have sweet potatoes, some sorrel for Christmas, provision and all sorts of local produce that the home will benefit from,” Wilson said.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Lands’ Backyard Gardening Programme, embodies the same theme as the Food and Agriculture Organization 75th Anniversary celebration of World Food Day: Grow. Nourish. Sustain. Together.