Agriculture Teachers from the Potter’s Primary School were excited to speak about the school’s Agriculture Program and the important role it plays in boosting the value of food security and nutrition among students.
The school’s agriculture the program is being facilitated by Ms. Deneshaw Nickeo and Ms. Hannah Aubrey with the help of one (1) Farm Hand who assists in the garden.
A wide variety of crops such as corn, sweet pepper, squash, sweet potato and sweet pepper are being grown and the teachers spoke about the students` interest in agriculture, the challenges they face and how they would like to see the programme improve.
The children involve in the agricultural program range from Kindergarten to Grade (six) 6. According to Ms. Nickeo, many of them have expressed a keen interest in growing their own, being inspired by the school garden.
Ms. Nickeo explained that one of the first techniques they learn is how to transplant plants from one location to another, and the children are also taught to use their feet to measure three (3) to four (4) feet from each plant.
“Students are very interested and they really enjoy the process of watering, planting and weeding,” explained Ms. Aubrey.
However, both teachers explained that the students are not only interested in crop production but also in livestock production, as they have learnt about it in the theoretical aspect of the subject.
The teachers said that the students would like to see the practical element of this particular subject implemented soon. The teachers too were very supportive of this idea. They said that starting out on a small scale can lead to growth. “ We have land and the man power, we just need the resources” stated Ms. Nickeo. “
Of the variety of crops that they grow in the school garden, the production of corn brings them the biggest benefit.
Recently, they were able to reap over thirty (30) pounds of corn.
They hosted a corn roast sale outside the school compound and the activity received overwhelming support not only from staff and parents, but from members of the Potters community and all of the commodities were sold in a short time.
The money raised was used to buy tools for the garden, as one of the major challenges being faced is the lack of proper equipment.
The teachers noted that they have received technical support from the Ministry of Agriculture in the past and is grateful for any assistance in the continued maintenance of the school garden.
Unlike other educational institutions, the teachers noted that they have not experience theft of crops and hope that it continues this way.
With the dry season being experienced, the teachers said that the school has a water tank that automatically kicks in when the pipe is off and also, they make use of a drip line which is installed or the bottle system, to keep the crops hydrated.
Ms. Nickeo and Ms. Aubrey are very positive that they will get the necessary tools to be able to move forward with the program.