Food for the Poor project boosts agricultural

Monday, December 31, 2018

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May Pen, Clarendon — Students at Claude McKay High School in northern Clarendon are reaping the benefits of a new greenhouse and additional agricultural resources thanks to a project funded by Food for the Poor Jamaica and its donors.

The equipment was officially handed over in a ceremony in late November, according to a news release.

The school received a 1,500-square-foot greenhouse with rainwater harvesting and irrigation systems, a layer unit with 100 chickens, vegetable seedlings, fertilisers, chicken feed, sprayers, and feeders.

Lerone Chin, head of the school's Agricultural Department, said the impact is already reflected in the achievement of his students.

“The performance in agricultural science has decreased nationally. But at Claude McKay for the last year, we increased our passes in agricultural science,” Chin said. “Our pass rate last year was 92 per cent and, with the investment, we have received up to 94 per cent.”

Nakhlé Hado, director of agriculture and fishing at Food for the Poor Jamaica, said agricultural resources are “not always affordable or accessible”. But he said the charity's donation will enable students to meet academic requirements and boost their interest in agriculture as a viable career, while providing a source of income for the school.

Hado thanked the charity's donors, saying they will help the school “become an exemplary beacon of profitable agriculture”.

Richard Azan, Member of Parliament for Clarendon North Western, commended Food For The Poor Jamaica's support for agriculture in the parish.

“All the schools that have been assisted so far are singing praises that now they are producing,” Azan said. “We are truly grateful for the provision that has been made so far because the investment in agriculture is working.”

Chin said students are enthusiastic about the new resources.

“Students come to school in the mornings and they are begging to assist with collecting eggs. They are begging to go to the greenhouse,” Chin said.

Vegetable production has increased dramatically with the new greenhouse producing more than 150 pounds of sweet peppers so far.

“Our agricultural programme has become more attractive thanks to Food for the Poor,” Chin said. “We thank you for your contribution towards national development,” he added.

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