Each year the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) celebrates World Food Day and this year the theme is “Leave No-one Behind, Better production, Better Nutrition, Better Environment, and A Better Life.”
The FAO in collaboration with The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs, has embarked on a week of activities in commemoration of this day.
One such activity is a “PLANT A SEED” initiative with schools across Antigua.
The Backyard Gardening Unit within the Agricultural Extension Division hosted practical sessions with the St. Andrew’s Primary School with both kindergarten and Grade one (1) students.
The Unit also visited the Pares Secondary School fourth (4) form Agriculture Science Students and Grade (4) and five (5) students from the Potters Primary School where they learned about the importance of school gardening as a way to promote healthy living.
Assisting this initiative were newly appointed FAO National Correspondent, Ika Fergus and Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture National Specialist, Craig Thomas.
“Youth have a vital role in transforming agrifood systems.
Their energy, ideas, and stake make them important in our agricultural development. Engaging the youth and providing them with hands-on experience in growing their own vegetables, while raising awareness about the importance of school gardens, would auger well for our overall food security endeavors, by ensuring access to safe food to meet the nutritional requirements for a healthy, active life,” says FAO Correspondent, Ika Fergus.
Last week, the Backyard Garden Unit assisted St. Andrew’s Primary School with preparing the area where the school will be utilizing tires for crop propagation.
Students engaged in the planting of corn, sweet potato, cassava, and table squash (Three sister garden), which were donated by the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI).
The unit has pledged to provide the necessary technical assistance in a bid to foster more youth involvement in Agricultural programs in both primary and secondary schools across our twin-island state.
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