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WE’RE GOING GREEN: Govt initiative launched to create 500 backyard farms and cut food bills

ADO executive chairman Phillip Smith yesterday. Photos: Moise Amisial

ADO executive chairman Phillip Smith yesterday. Photos: Moise Amisial

By LYNAIRE MUNNINGS

lmunnings@tribunemedia.net

THE AGRICULTURAL Development Organisation (ADO) in partnership with The Church Commercial Farming Group (TCCFG) yesterday launched a programme to support backyard, community and church farming.

Officials believe this is the largest programme of its kind to be implemented in The Bahamas.

The initial effort will provide the necessary supplies and oversight to start up to 500 backyard farms with as many as another 4,500 to follow within a year.

photo

A DEMONSTRATION of making bread fruit from scratch yesterday.

Nearly four months ago, ADO presented a cheque totalling nearly $197,925 to TCCFG. The funds have since been used to purchase supplies, hire full-time staff and begin preparations.

Yesterday, Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs Minister Clay Sweeting applauded the joint initiative of ADO and TCCFG as it has the potential to restore the culture of farming in the country.

“We are working diligently together to encourage Bahamians to get back to their roots and to place their own healthy food into the ground,” he said. “Bahamians must resonate with the idea that it is good to grow.”

Mr Sweeting said the government wants to change the culture of farming and encourage youth and women specifically to join the industry.

 According to the minister, Bahamians can assist in reducing the import bill of $1bn a year.

 “We can feed ourselves, it’s not impossible. Food security as you saw in the budget is a top priority for my ministry and the government and we are working assiduously hard to achieve this goal,” he said.

 ADO executive chairman Phillip Smith said: “This is an exciting day when, for the first time in our history, we in The Bahamas are making it possible for thousands of backyard farms to be started without any cost to those who want to farm.

 “We look forward to seeing in the not too distant future, thousands and thousands of backyard farmers as well as many community farms and church farms throughout the Bahamas as we plant the seed for greater food security.”

 The farming kits include tubing, soil, seed trays, liquid fertiliser and seeds. Additionally, for each new garden the staff will assist with the preparation of soil, planting, irrigation fertilising and monitoring.

 Applicants can apply online for participation in the programme.

Comments

K4C 3 months, 3 weeks ago

This is nothing NEW for the Bahamas, my family did this from WWII until I left in the 60's, we always had vegetables fruit etc in our back yard

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KapunkleUp 3 months, 3 weeks ago

When policies fail and officials are clueless on how to proceed, that's when the government tells the people to grow their own food.

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Sickened 3 months, 3 weeks ago

I agree... but I also like this long overdue initiative.

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KapunkleUp 3 months, 3 weeks ago

I agree with you and have been planting my own greens on and off for years. But realistically it's a hobby and makes for a few meals at best. Most people don't have the room, skill and time to actually plant enough to feed themselves for the long term.

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TalRussell 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Has even the church gone bunkers? ... The Church Commercial Farming Group (TCCFG) yesterday launched a program... But first must hire a full-time staff of 50 and then begin preparations to disperse $197,925 to start up to 500 backyard farms. ... Gone are days of camaraderie sisters and brothers volunteers. .... Average weekly earnings per week per staff member $553.84 X 50 = weekly payroll $27.692 X 52 = $1.5 million. ... .Initial funding $197,925 ... Presents some difficulty comprehending the church's funding arithmetic considering the church's commercial BAMSI 11 backyad farming venture hasn't bought single pack planting seeds, ― Yes?

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themessenger 3 months, 3 weeks ago

@Tal, no worries comrade, only NGO's administered by the white people attract external scrutiny and are subjected to government auditing and political pillory. Business as usual!

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TalRussell 3 months, 3 weeks ago

@ComradeTheMess, highly unlikely colony's churches prepared widen collection plates undergo audit by Revenue Colony. ... You think,― Yes?

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killemwitdakno 3 months, 3 weeks ago

The body moving now. Bringing practical missions.

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ted4bz 3 months, 3 weeks ago

I have been a part of many community initiatives such as this for more than 40 years. In the end no more than a hand full of people at a time was interested. Is it that the government gets the people to do whatever they want when they want, or is it that the people want only the government to tell them what to do? It is not a matter of doing backyard farming it is a matter of organizing what is grown in the backyard so that there is an even distribution or an effective battering exchange taking place between backyard farmers rather than putrid and waste. For example if everyone grew mostly tomatoes, okra and bananas. What do you do when there is a flux or more than needed; and what do you do when there is a shortage or not enough of other food crops? It is not a matter of a sustainable program but one that sustains the population in times they represents. This will not come close to what is being portrayed. Other than stepping up to the mic to enthrall the crowds with amusing and faulty talk; what have they ever done that have ever mounted to anything more than a hill of beans?

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tribanon 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Thanks to this initiative, the illegal Haitian marauders wandering about all over New Providence and many of our other islands will never have to go hungry again thanks to the generosity of backyard farming Bahamians. There are few things that attract uninvited guests on your property more than a thriving and bountiful backyard farm. I had to cut down the banana and papaya trees in my backyard many years ago because they were constantly being raided by my neighbor's gardener among other uninvited guests.

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themessenger 3 months, 3 weeks ago

A classic example of cutting off your nose to spite your face. By cutting down your fruit trees you deprived your uninvited guests of some fruits but you also made sure that you had none yourself. Reminds me of a mean neighbor of mine who cut off the branch of his mango tree which hung over my garden because it had more fruit on it than the rest of the tree. The following few seasons the tree bore no fruit at all. Lmao 🤣

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tribanon 3 months, 3 weeks ago

The trespassers did a good job for many years at making sure my family and I never got any fruit from our fruit trees. They actually cut off they own noses because they never left anything on the trees for me to lose. I only had everything to gain by chopping them down. LOL

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