The Ministry of Agriculture effective today, will implement a ‘Grow to Eat’ food program to ensure food security in the wake of Hurricane Maria which will target wide scale and backyard farmers.
This was announced by Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Harold Guiste at the daily press briefing held on October 6th 2017 where he noted that the ministry hopes to establish the ‘Grow to Eat’ program immediately, so that foods and vegetables will be available soon, while encouraging farmers to get involved in the program.
“So we are moving ahead with immediate effect to be able to establish vegetable crops on the ground and short term crops that can be ready between six weeks and three months. So, come Christmas time, our market should be very healthy with vegetables for our people. We have seeds on island and I can say that as of Monday we will be able to get seeds to several farming communities, and we encouraging persons with backyard gardens, to please get involved with the ‘Grow to Eat’ food program,” he stated.
He noted that there are many persons who are involved have already cleared their lands and are awaiting seeds to plant. Guiste stated that the immediate strategy is to grow short term crops, twenty five of which have already been identified including sweet potatoes, corn, and vegetables.
“We want our farmers to come forward. Our farmers are very resilient persons. We know that farming is their livelihood and therefore they are ready to move. We at the Division of Agriculture we have suffered a lot of losses as well, but that is not keeping us back, so we and our staff are ready to move forward,” he added.
Guiste added that order have been made for seeds of these short crop plants and teams will be sent out to assist the farmers in land preparation for the seeds and the ‘Grow to Eat’ program.