Rural Affairs Secretariat launches COVID19 Relief Kitchen Garden Initiative

—as part of MoA’s R.E.A.P

 The Rural Affairs Secretariat of the Ministry of Agriculture recently launched its COVID19 Relief Kitchen Garden Initiative.

The exercise is part of the Ministry’s Rural Entrepreneurial Agricultural Project (R.E.A.P).

It aims to provide a nutritional balance to families and a deterrence from toxic chemical use harming persons and the environment in a time when maintaining healthy immune systems is a priority.

Minister within the Ministry of Agriculture with responsibility for Rural Affairs, Hon. Valerie Adams-Yearwood while encouraging persons to start their kitchen gardens, said that the Ministry intends to assist persons with their efforts.

“Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, has implemented the R.E.A.P – Rural Entrepreneurial Agricultural Project, which will be executed in all regions of Guyana.”

Minister Adams-Yearwood said component two of the Kitchen Garden Initiative, will see persons receiving assistance to acquire small garden tools, seeds, irrigation and other planting material to get their kitchen gardens going.

With the establishment of the Rural Affairs Secretariat in June 2019, the ministry was able to launch its first Kitchen Garden competition last November in Region Four, more specifically, the East Coast and East Bank of Demerara, in Region Five from Fort Wellington to Bush Lot, Region Six, from Number 53 Union to Kildonan, Region Nine, from Lethem to St. Ignatius and in Region Ten, Linden.

With the success of the previous initiative and preparations for the second leg of the competition underway, Minister Adams-Yearwood made adjustments to the initiative to offer assistance to persons finding it hard to maintain their food supply due to the challenges caused by the COVID19 pandemic.

The Minister noted that with many persons out of jobs, it may be difficult to feed their families with the necessary fruits and vegetables to maintain healthy immune systems.

“It is important for persons to have access to nutritious fruits and vegetables to maintain healthy immune systems, as these help your body to fight off diseases and viruses. This is one of the benefits of having a kitchen garden – access to a variety of healthy and nutritious fruits and vegetables.”

She also observed that kitchen gardens help persons to save money, reduce their trips to public spaces like markets and supermarkets and promote recreational activities between family members.

Over the past few weeks, other Regional and Agricultural officials have been calling on persons to return to kitchen gardening as a means to ensure their families are fed, especially during crises like the one currently affecting the country.

Persons interested in this initiative can uplift an application form from the security of the Ministry’s head office on Regent Street, their Neighborhood Democratic Council (NDC) Offices or regional agricultural officers. Forms are also available on the ministry’s website at http://agriculture.gov.gy/ publications/kitchen-garden-project-entry-form/.

After a verification process, registered persons will be assisted in the form of vouchers to acquire seeds, small garden tools, irrigation material and other planting materials needed to either establish or improve an established kitchen garden, redeemable at local or regional suppliers.

Closing date for registration is June 6th, 2020.

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Coronavirus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. We urge citizens to practice good hygiene and social or physical distancing also adhere to the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health, Guyana.