GIS – THE ‘URBAN GROW’ PROGRAMME, ENCOURAGES RESIDENTS TO GROW FOOD AND SIMULTANEOUSLY EARN AN INCOME FROM THE SURPLUS.
Member of Parliament for Central Castries, Hon. Sarah Flood-Beaubrun has disclosed that residents of that constituency will be embarking on an agricultural programme geared at self- sustenance.
The government MP made the disclosure during the debate on the Estimates of Expenditure last week.
According to Minister Flood-Beaubrun, the initiative dubbed “Urban Grow” is a component of the soon-to-be-launched “Synergy,” a personal development and recruitment programme.
The initiative also forms part of a long-term sustainable plan to deal with unemployment, and develop human resource.
“We can still remember the ravages of tropical storms and hurricanes that came across the region and we know how important it is to build resilience,” she said. “At the end of the day, physical infrastructure is very important, but what is also important for us to build is human infrastructure; because even in the case of Dominica for example, the forests were completely destroyed, most of the houses were destroyed, but the people were left to rebuild the infrastructure.
“I certainly don’t believe that the best way to use monies in the stimulus programme is to cut grass. Certainly we need to beautify our country, absolutely, but to simply use the stimulus money to cut grass for two weeks/three weeks in a specified period of time, is a short term programme which may be necessary to inject money that people need at a certain time but there needs to be a long-term sustainable plan to deal with unemployment.
“That is what we have done in Central Castries, we have used part of the stimulus money to ensure that we find ways of generating long-term employment.”
According to the Hon. Flood-Beaubrun, the Ministry of Agriculture has assigned 2.17 acres of land in Roseau where residents of Castries Central can grow their own food. Residents are also being encouraged to grow domestic food gardens.
“We will have a ‘rent-a-row programme’ so those persons who do not have a balcony that they can grow on, or a little spot outside their homes, have a chance to rent a row in a garden not too far from Roseau, where they can plant food to sustain their families, and also earn an income from the surplus.”
Minister Flood-Beaubrun said the garden programme will use modest amounts of the monies allocated under the stimulus programme toward implementation.