The Ministry of Agriculture today announced two initiatives under its COVID-19 support programme.
Members of the public can register to benefit from the ‘Backyard Garden Initiative’ or ‘Commercial Farming Initiative’, in an effort to produce more crops locally.
According to a release from the Government Information Unit, under the ‘Backyard Garden Initiative’ persons are invited to register for one of three options which best suits their household. The options are:
Option 1 – HOOP HOUSE REHABILITATION – geared towards households with existing hoop houses which have fallen into disrepair. Incentives under this option will include materials to refurbish an existing hoop house; Labour cost support to assist with repair of the existing hoop house; Seedlings and or seeds; Foliar fertilizers; Top soil and irrigation.
Persons interested in benefitting under option 1 are asked to call 496 0145 between 18th and 20th May 2020 between 9am and 3 pm.
Option 2 – CONTAINER GARDENING – geared towards households with smaller spaces or those with an interest in container gardening. Incentives under this initiative include, plant boxes 4ft x8ft and plastic containers; seedlings and or seeds; Foliar fertilizers; Top soil and Irrigation.
Persons interested in benefitting under option 2 are asked to call 491 2075 between 18th and 20th May 2020 between 9am and 3 pm,
Option 3 – OPEN FIELD PRODUCTION—geared towards households with a larger land space or those interested in farming directly in the field. Area for production must be no larger than 50ft x 100ft ( approximately 1/8 acre) and is in the immediate vicinity of the household. Incentives under this option include the following assistance with land preparation (labour or tillage); seeds and/or seedlings; granular fertilizers; insecticides; irrigation and top soil.
Persons interested in benefitting under option 3 are asked to call 392 8089 between 18th and 20th May 2020 between 9am and 3 pm.
The Ministry of Agriculture is also rolling out of its COMMERCIAL FARMING Initiative for registered farmers, cultivating lands in excess of 1/8 acre and producing primarily for sale.
Incentives under this initiative will be provided to cover one crop cycle and includes;
- Assistance with land preparation, whether labour or tillage
- Seeds and/or seedlings;
- Granular fertilizers;
Persons benefitting under the COMMERCIAL FARMING Initiative will have to agree to
- Effectively manage the day to day operations of the farm;
- Apply improved technology as advised by the Agriculture Department Outreach Officers;
- Market their produce at prices mutually agreed to by the Agriculture Department and the farmer, based on cost of production; and
- Keep accurate records.
Persons interested in benefitting under this initiative are asked to call 492 2755 from 18th to 20th May 2020 between 9am and 3 pm.
Persons who will be registering their interest are asked to note that these incentives will be delivered on a first come, first serve basis after an assessment by the Outreach Team to determine eligibility and suitability of the incentive for each applicant.