New Providence’s Urban Renewal Centres, primary schools and youth clubs have joined in the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources’ community gardening initiative. They will identify and provide growing spaces and staff for the supervision of projects where necessary.
The Ministry will provide technical assistance, tools, soils, seeds and fertilisers. St George’s Anglican Church on Montrose Avenue and Claridge Farms on Cowpen Road will provide land space.
The community gardening initiative complements the backyard garden and schools gardens programmes. “Since their beginning they have been most successful in promoting well being, generating an interest in food production, and developing skills and knowledge in growing food,” said Minister Lawrence S ‘Larry’ Cartwright.
As the Bahamas imports an average of $500 million worth of food annually, said Mr Cartwright, “it is anticipated that these combined initiatives will also serve to reduce the level of imports.”
The community gardening initiative seeks to:
empower persons to supplement their food supplies;
encourage self reliance;
stimulate social cohesion;
promote and develop gardening skills;
beautify and enhance the natural environment of neighborhoods;
reduce importation of certain foods; and,
provide physical activities for persons.
Realising that the success of community gardening require the involvement of the volunteer sector, said Mr Cartwright, representatives of schools and civic organisations have been invited to formulate a programme toward that end. “I trust that this initiative will play a positive role in promoting a sense of belonging, personal worth, and community togetherness,” said Mr Cartwright.