For the past four years, the main goal of the Green Thumb column was to encourage our readers in the traditional and modern methods of producing food. The column was designed to ensure that agricultural education was prioritised, and the importance of food security was highlighted.
Of course, we would have ventured into horticulture, DIY projects, decor, and green gifts for all seasons.
In addition, over the past four years, there were many dedicated readers who sent in their questions, and it was a delight for me to respond to you all.
Since the start of Covid-19, a new emphasis was placed on food sustainability within our country. The years 2020 and 2021 brought rising food prices while the Russia-Ukraine war brought its rippling negative effects on the fertiliser prices and imported products.
Climate change has brought harsh dry seasons and we are now experiencing a highly active rainy season with increased incidents of flooding. How do we ensure that our food systems remain sustainable as the years go by?
The Bible speaks of many verses related to food. Genesis 1:11 states: “Then God said, ‘Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds’.”
Deuteronomy 28:12 states: “The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.”
And Proverbs 20:4 states: “Those too lazy to plow in the right season will have no food at the harvest.”
The time for prioritisation of food sustainability in Trinidad and Tobago is now!
Readers, it is my great privilege to present to you the Food Security in Parishes (FSIP) project.
The FSIP project is an initiative taken by the Archdiocese of Port of Spain under the leadership of Archbishop Jason Gordon and Catholic Media Services Ltd.
In collaboration with Rainforest Agricultural Consultancy, this project seeks to provide subsidised training for households in the field of traditional agriculture and technology-driven agriculture. It will support trained participants in crop production by the dissemination of subsidised resources (commercial and subsistence), to provide a market within the parishes where products can be sold and to provide agricultural services to households where efficiency and security is prioritised.
Furthermore, once trained through the programme, households interested in commercial agriculture will be given the opportunity to utilise land at a subsidised rate for farming where all technical support will be given.
This project targets all households within the pilot parishes focusing on backyard farming, healthy and abundance of food for your home, commercial farming, subsidised food bags for sale at the marketplaces and entrepreneurship for youth in agriculture.
Updates will be provided regularly, and the participating parishes will soon be announced. The project launches in December 2022.
For further details on the FSIP project, please feel free to send an email. Food security and sustainability for our country in 2023 begins with FSIP!
Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org