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Executive Director of the Jamaica 4-H Clubs, Lenworth Fulton, has emphasised that the recently launched National School Garden Programme, would contribute to food security in the country.
“In addition, it would provide a laboratory setting for primary and all-age schools, from where you can teach. So, it can be linked with academics.in other words, the curriculum can refer to a practical area,” he pointed out.
Mr. Fulton was addressing the Annual General Meeting of the Manchester 4-H Clubs Advisory Council, held at the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) office in Mandeville.
“The school gardening programme is a three-year project, and the Government is funding it at a cost of $108 million,” the Executive Director outlined to the meeting.
He implored members of each Parish Advisory Council to identify schools in their respective parishes, which need assistance to establish their gardens, pointing out that $14 million of the total amount allocated by the Government has been received.
The programme was officially launched on October 10 by Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, J.C. Hutchinson.
“Over a three year period, the main goal is to implement approximately 1,000 gardens in primary, secondary, and tertiary level schools across the island. I am very pleased that the programme has been receiving overwhelming response and 340 schools have so far been registered, including schools with existing gardens that are being assisted with technical support and inputs,” Mr. Hutchinson said then.
The programme has five major objectives: to get young persons to recognise and accept the role they must play in food production; to encourage environmental awareness in sustainable agriculture; to select careers in agriculture; to treat agriculture as a viable business option; and to integrate service learning into the formal education process. The 4-H Movement has been mandated to take charge of the project.