Region 10 farmers to gain employment from hot meal initiative
─ providing nutritious meals for students
─ replacing juice and biscuit with hot
DPI, Guyana, Monday, January 14, 2019
Farmers residing in far-flung communities of Region 10 are being recruited by the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) to supply fresh produce that is the main ingredient in hot meals prepared for students residing in far-flung communities.
The hot meal programme aims to replace the traditional juice and biscuit which are being supplied to schools across the country. Regional Executive Officer, Orrin Gordon related that the project has already been piloted in the communities of Rock Stone and Coomacka as well as for students journeying to Linden from the farming community of Dallawalla, located up the Demerara River.
The project is a replica of the David G’s Five B’s project that is currently carried out in Kwakwani and other communities across the country
The meals are prepared with fresh ingredients produced right in the communities. The move is not only a gravitation towards healthier consumption but creates employment not only for farmers but those responsible for preparing the meals.
Gordon noted that complaints have surfaced about the quality of the juice that is supplied to schools and so the project is aimed at ensuring that the children get the best, nutritionally.
“We are moving away from that and moving in the direction where we produce hot meals directly from the produce that is right there,” he said.
Gordon noted that the plan is to have it replicated in the rest of the region, especially in the communities located in Sub-Region Two, such as those located along the Berbice River.
“We want to replicate this in the rest of the sub-region because we are getting a lot of complaints about the juice and biscuit,” he noted.
While the Department of Education, Region Ten is awaiting permission for the project to be expanded from the Ministry of Education, Gordon noted that the RDC is currently conducting feasibility studies to ensure that all systems are in place for effective delivery of the hot meal project.
Meanwhile, newly appointed Regional Education Officer (REDO), Rabindra Singh expressed his belief that the project is the best way forward and will be giving it his support. He noted that the creation of employment aspect is what is most admirable about the project. “You have to have a head cook, treasurer and these people will be paid… We will be utilizing the raw produce from the various communities, it is something that I am trying to see how we can replace the juice and biscuit,” he said.
Previously, Gordon had also related to this publication, that he would have also put systems in place for the supply of less tin and processed foods at the dormitories in the region, replacing them with fresh foods.
Regional Chairman, Renis Morian said he is looking forward to the report on the way forward, at the next RDC statutory meeting.
Images: Vanessa Braithwaite.