Over 2,500 households are set to benefit from a $10 million Backyard Garden project being spearheaded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in collaboration with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA).
Portfolio Minister, Hon. Floyd Green, officially launched the initiative on Friday (February 19), at the HEART College of Construction Services in Portmore, St. Catherine.
He said that the project aims to strengthen the country’s food security by enabling citizens to grow and consume their own produce, thereby saving costs, while enhancing their nutrition, health and well-being.
He informed that persons will be provided with kits to set up gardens to grow vegetables and herbs in small spaces in their backyards or other community space.
The kits contain a small garden fork and shovel, assorted seeds, seedling tray and mix and fertiliser.
Participating residents will be encouraged to devote minimum space to produce two to four crops per year, including vegetables such as pepper, cabbage, tomato, callaloo, pak choi, as well as herbs.
Minister Green said that the elderly and young people will be targeted under the Backyard Garden project as well as persons living in urban and peri-urban areas.
He pointed out that the initiative provides a “great opportunity” to get children involved in agriculture, by allowing them to plant their own plots so that they can have a “greater appreciation of agriculture and our drive to ensure that we are food secured.”
In addition to enhancing food security and nutrition, Minister Green said the initiative will also serve to build community wellness and response to disasters, and strengthen support for local farmers.
To participate, persons can call or visit their nearest RADA office for fill out the application form at https://www.rada.gov.jm/backyard-garden-kits.