Sunday 29 November, 2020

Home gardens take the spotlight as Trinis avoid virus spread

Photo: Former prime minister Basdeo Panday showed off his cabbage and cauliflower to daughter Mickela Panday who shared a video via Facebook. Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar also shared a video of her home garden via Facebook.

Photo: Former prime minister Basdeo Panday showed off his cabbage and cauliflower to daughter Mickela Panday who shared a video via Facebook. Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar also shared a video of her home garden via Facebook.

The focus has once again switched to home gardening and food sustainability as Trinidadians continue to stay at home to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Former prime minister Basdeo Panday was seen on video shared to social media by his daughter, Mickela Panday, showing off his locally grown cabbage and cauliflower. 

Panday, who would be within the elderly demographic and therefore more vulnerable to the effects of the virus, was seen following the mandate to remain at home, focusing on growing his own food at home. 

Likewise, Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar also shared a video to social media showing her home garden as she urged the public to remain safe at home to prevent the spread of the virus. 

Minister calls on public to support local

Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, Clarence Rambharat said he also is making efforts toward food sustainability locally, however this requires a focus on local consumption as well.

He also commended Persad-Bissessar for her focus on food sustainability. 

"The more use we make of local seeds; the more we switch our consumption to heathy, locally grown and locally produced food; the stronger we are in times of delays and shortages on the import side. These are small but important steps. Relying on imports may reduce, but it would not cease. We have to be prepared to manage risks."

"Our local farmers produce much of what is considered a healthy diet. The Farmers Markets have brought healthy, affordable produce almost to our tables. We need to take charge of ourselves and our families. Health and longevity requires healthy eating, rest and exercise. The decision rests with us. The clock is ticking."

"It’s therefore nice to see the Honourable Leader of the Opposition today, like the Honourable Prime Minister, spending time in her home garden and encouraging us to do the same."

Councillors launch home gardening initiative

In addition, Councillor for Reform / Manahambre Chris Hosein together with Councillor for Lengua / Indian Walk Rajesh Lall have teamed up to launch a kitchen garden initiative to help people learn more about home gardening.

The councillors said the instructional videos will be shared via social media. They also plan to distribute 100 kitchen garden starter kits for free to help people get started. 

Hosein said he wanted to do something that would help people to stay at home and be productive. 

"We really wanted to do something to encourage persons to stay at home...but it’s also to ensure people and their families take the initiative to be food secure in these uncertain times."

Councillor Rajesh Lall agreed that a stronger focus is needed on local food production.

"Many of the new farmers we see emerging have been laid off from their respective industries and have turned to agriculture with the base knowledge they learnt from their parents' gardens as youths...local food production is in dire need of youths embracing the field and I believe initiatives like these are a step in the right direction of a more food secure future.”

What do you think of this focus on more home gardening?

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