Future Growers Project launched in Laventille/Morvant
L-R Karen Lee Lum WAND, MP Adrian Leonce, Michelle Ford Laventille Morvant East Constituency & Dr Reynold Stone UWI
Eight Primary schools in the Laventille/Morvant area were targeted for an initiative aimed at teaching children how to grow food.
The initiative is called the Future Growers Project and was launched with the Member of Parliament for the Laventille East/Morvant Constituency in collaboration with the Women in Action for the Needy and Destitute (WAND), the House of Angostura and the University of the West Indies.
This project is geared toward introducing and reinforcing the values that can be gained by growing their own food, from the perspectives of revenue generation, financial savings and the health benefits that can be derived.
The participating schools were:
Malick Girls R.C School
Morvant Epiphany Anglican School
Morvant New Government School
St Dominic’s RC School
Lower Morvant Government School
Hockett Baptist School
Success RC School
Chinapoo Government Primary School
Workshops were conducted at each school from September to November by students and facilitators of the University of the West Indies (UWI) Facility of Food and Agriculture and PCS Nitrogen.
At the workshops, the children were shown how to create their own hydroponic grow system; its use and benefits. They learned how to grow nutritious leafy crops and received a certificate of participation. Eventually, each school will be provided with a hydroponic system unit which the children will use to grow their first batch of produce.
Other organisations like F T Farfan and Caribbean Chemicals, have committed to come on board, to provide tools and seedlings to assist with the project, while Scotiabank and Massy Motors have already contributed financially.
The key objectives of the project are to:
- promote the importance of the agricultural sector in our primary schools;
- Create, facilitate and stimulate the interest of future growers by providing a launching pad for young ‘agri-preneurs’;
- Teach children the value of growing their own food: both from a financial and nutritional perspective;
- Foster home gardening as a sustainable avenue for reducing a family’s food bill and also to earn additional revenue.
Eventually, schools will be given the opportunity to sell their produce at a ‘Market Day’ which will be hosted in the area later in 2018.
It is the hope that the students will continue to grow the plants at home and encourage their family to follow, eventually providing some extra income or food for the family.