Extension Division begins distribution of seedlings on Wednesday as part of ongoing backyard-gardening initiative

The Agricultural Extension Division will be distributing seedlings on Wednesday, March 16, as part of an ongoing initiative to encourage backyard gardening.

Senior Agricultural Extension Officer Olawabi Elabanjo says the programme started in 2008, under former Agriculture Minister Hilson “Brother B” Baptiste and in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

The Senior Extension Officer says the programme has expanded, resulting in the establishment of a Backyard Gardening Unit.  Its staff members go into the various communities, educating residents on the benefits of backyard gardening.

Elabanjo says the distribution programme should have commenced earlier, but had to be postponed due to several challenges.

He says three locations have been identified for distribution – Greencastle Station, the PDO Building on Kentish Road, and the Ministry of Agriculture on Independence Drive, next to the East Country Pond.

Distribution of lettuce, tomato and eggplant seedlings starts at 9 a.m. and will continue while supplies last.

Elabanjo says other locations, including schools and villages, will be announced later for further distribution, as the Division seeks to decentralize the programme. 

He says a number of backyard farmers have moved on to bigger farms, while others have turned their hobby into a means of  livelihood.