The Rural Development Commission (RDC) is continuing its mandate to ensure that Barbadians are equipped with the essential tools to grow what they eat.
Today, at the National Housing Corporation’s Country Road headquarters, members of the Rural Development Commission distributed nine varieties of seeds and seedlings, as well as palettes and tires, to people interested in starting their own subsistence farming at their homes.
The RDC’s public relations officer Wendy Burke said that the distribution of growth receptacles to the general public would help them cut their food bill.
“ … We have decided to really encourage people to grow what they eat and to help cut back on their food bill. A step in the right direction would be to actually give them some growth receptacles, seeds and seedlings so that they can start the process on their own.
“They are coming to collect the palettes and so on, and we have given them some options in terms of how they can convert the palettes. We also have some staff on hand who [can] explain how the growth will work, which plants need more water, which [ones] need less – that kind of thing,” Burke said.
She stressed that people should enter into subsistence farming to help them sustain a healthy lifestyle and save them some much-needed capital.
“So if you are growing what you are eating and you are growing healthier food, then you are also helping yourself [ to control] non-communicable diseases. We are encouraging persons to live a healthier lifestyle – they can see what they are growing and they are not using a lot of harsh pesticides or chemicals. And the actual gardening process is also a form of exercise.
“If all of us as individuals can see and understand the importance of self-sustainability and food sovereignty, then we are in a much better position to take the country forward collectively,” Burke said.
She noted that backyard farming can help to reduce the national food import bill.
Burke added that her department plans to boost the current agricultural programmes within the island schools.
“We are going to give these growth receptacles to the schools along with some drums and some tyres. We are also giving them seedlings and soil so that they can either boost their agricultural programmes… be it 4H, the agricultural science department, whatever it is; we want to help primary and secondary schools be able to grow as well. We are going to be doing north, central, east and south zones schools within our rural districts,” Burke said. (LG)