The new Budding Farmers Grow Club is an agriculture-based extracurricular activity aimed at engaging children in discovering the ins and outs of planting, growing and caring for agricultural outputs from the farm to the table. The club launched virtually on Friday, May 14, 2021.
What started as an escape from the pandemic has blossomed into the rollout of a school-based farming club. Co-founders Mikayla-Ann and Matthew Henry, 4 and 6 years old, respectively, are intent on spreading their love for farming and the outdoors to as many children across the world as possible.
If founder Grace Henry had it her way, every home in Jamaica would have a backyard garden so that no child would go to bed hungry or malnourished. She highlighted at the launch that “as part of the Budding Farmers Grow Club, at the end of each term children would have participated in numerous experiments, projects and most importantly would either be reaping from their farm or in the process of seeing their farm mature. ”
The Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Floyd Green, has tapped the Budding Farmers Grow Club as one of the initiatives that will help increase Jamaica’s Food Security challenge. The announcement took place at the virtual launch held recently.
“We are starting a movement to get Jamaica growing, and the earlier that we can introduce our children to farming, the better. A country that can feed itself is a country that can do well. To do so, we must do more backyard gardening initiatives. This Budding Farmers initiative directly aligns with our priorities as we want a food secure Jamaica.”
The Pearnel Charles Jr., Minister of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change, expressed his ministry’s full support of the Budding Farmers programme and its long term impact on negating the impact of climate change “When it comes on to climate change, this is it, it is our human activity that causes the negative effect not the climate and so this [Budding Farmers Grow Club] is important because this is allowing our children to know how to be constructive and responsible citizens.”
The Grow Club will operate virtually and is open to children ages 3 years to 16 years old. Registration can be done through one’s school or independently by visiting the club’s social media pages @buddingfarmersja.
The Budding Farmers Grow Club has partnered with Title Sponsor Seprod Foundation along with H&L Agro, Lewiscotch Nursery and Seeds, Got Creative Media, NCB Foundation, Rural Agricultural Development Agency (RADA), all of whom share the vision of engaging children in a process that is critical to Jamaica’s long term sustainable development – farming.