7,000 apply for backyard garden kits

SOME 7,053 people have applied for the 2,500 backyard garden kits under the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries’ Backyard Garden Kit Project, which is designed to strengthen the country’s food security by enabling citizens to grow and consume their own produce.

Data provided by the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), the agency responsible for the distribution of the kits, indicated that 4,725 of the applicants were females.

In response to the number of females, who have applied, Agriculture Minister Floyd Green described it as encouraging.

“It is really good to see a number of women expressing interest in our backyard gardening project,” he said.

“We are moving to have more females participating in agriculture and we do hope that this project will be a stepping stone for the women who have expressed interest. [We hope] that they will start with their backyards or containers, realise they have a green thumb and move into more extensive forms of agriculture,” the minister added.

Meanwhile, the applicants were mainly from the parishes of St Catherine and Kingston and St Andrew with the age group 36-45 and 26-35 representing the largest groupings.

The Backyard Garden Project, which was launched on February 19 in Portmore, St Catherine, not only aims to bolster food security but enable individuals to save costs in the purchase of produce, to enhance their nutrition, health and well-being.

As part of the kits, beneficiaries are to receive a garden fork and shovel, assorted seeds, seedling tray and potting mix and fertiliser.

Beneficiaries are being encouraged to produce two to four crops per year, including vegetables such as pepper, cabbage, tomato, callaloo, pak choi and herbs.




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