Jamaica: Ministry seeks to expand agriculture in urban areas

The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries of Jamaica is aiming to expand the implementation of agricultural practices in urban areas, which will include backyard gardening and vertical farming.

Critical to the ‘Grow Smart, Eat Smart’ campaign is the involvement of Jamaicans in the process of becoming food secure through creating opportunities for self-sufficiency, according to Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Pearnel Charles Jr. He says urban spaces have limited areas for farming, requiring the introduction of techniques to optimize production within what is available.

“Whether it is vertical or hydroponics, there are systems that can be introduced to our urban areas,” he said. With the Jamaica 4-H Clubs having developed advanced techniques in hydroponics, aquaponics, and vertical farming, there already exist systems from which people can learn and benefit.

The Minister also noted that the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) had developed advanced hydroponic systems that are now being used in some schools in St Elizabeth. “We want people to know that they don’t need to be farming land. They can utilize different techniques to farm their vegetables and small crops,” he pointed out.

Read the complete article at www.jamaicaobserver.com.

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