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Food is the essence of human existence. In this regard, each individual should play a part in ensuring the constant supply of this vital commodity and contribute to enhancing food security, nutrition, building community wellness and responding to the challenges of disasters.
While the main thrust is to improve the commercial viability of the agricultural sector, we encourage all Jamaicans to define a role for themselves in reducing their food costs and their vulnerability to imports.
Everyone needs to seek ways to provide food for their households and one way is to start a backyard garden. We must return to the days when householders grew “a little something” for themselves in their backyards.
High level of vulnerability is currently demonstrated with the recent pandemic of the COVID-19 virus, when quarantine and isolation proven to be necessary approach.
As a short term intervention, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MOAF) in collaboration with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA); therefore, is renewing the “Backyard Garden Programme” initiative to assist residents throughout the island, especially in urban and peri-urban centers, to grow vegetables and herbs in small spaces in their backyards or other community spaces.
Participating residents will each be encouraged to devote a minimum yard space, to produce two to four crops per year, of vegetables such as, pepper, cabbage, tomato, callaloo, pak choi, as well as herbs.
Several objectives are targeted by engaging householders in backyard cultivation of vegetables and herbs:
o To ensure access and to improve the nutritional component of family diet and cost saving
o To increase preoccupation and physical activity of residents through gardening and crop care (especially critical under the conditions when movement of public restricted for COVID-19 prevention)
o To make a contribution to the Import Substitution initiative, especially in the events of food shortage due to impacts of climate change (drought or prolonged rainfall), which might impact on open field production
o To change the mindset of the population towards smart practices of growing their own food using backyard space and developing an appreciation for farming within urban communities
A total of 2,500 beneficiaries across the island with key focus on youth, the elderly householders in urban and semi-rural communities.
How to Apply
All applications will be done on-line effective February 19, 2021 at 3pm. Click the link below to complete and submit application form. You should provide your contact information.
Eligibility: Employees of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and RADA are not eligible to apply on-line
Registration Deadline: 28th February, 2021 at 12 midnight
Successful beneficiaries will be contacted via e-mail, after all applications have been evaluated.
Selection of beneficiaries will be done using ‘first come- first serve’ approach. Kits will be available in all parishes island wide.
Collection of Kits
The Rural Agricultural Development Authority reserves the right to contact the beneficiary for obtaining feedback and/or visiting backyard for monitoring purposes. This will be done after contacting beneficiary via phone or e-mail. Visiting officer should present a valid RADA ID.
Several publications are available on the RADA’s Corporate Website (www.rada.gov.jm) and RADA YouTube to assist you with backyard gardening.
You can contact us for any clarification and /or share your feedback using the following e-mail: