NATION

Start Backyard Farms

Youths of Saunaka Village in Nadi were yesterday encouraged to engage more in backyard farming and to refrain from eating processed foods. Vodafone ATH Fiji Foundation project officer Jitendra Naidu
08 May 2015 08:41
Start Backyard Farms
Ministry of Youth and Sports divisional offcier west Valami Nima during the training at Saunaka Village in Nadi yesterday. Photo: Salote Qalubau

Youths of Saunaka Village in Nadi were yesterday encouraged to engage more in backyard farming and to refrain from eating processed foods.

Vodafone ATH Fiji Foundation project officer Jitendra Naidu made this plea during their seeds for life project training because of the increase in non-communicable diseases among young people.

Forty participants from the Vatuburu Youth Club were briefed on the project and the benefits of backyard farming which is an ongoing initiative by the Ministry of Youth and Sports that will be followed by official planting of seeds today.

Mr Naidu, also the Western Charity Alliance executive director, said the seeds for life project stakeholders were the ministry, Vodafone ATH Foundation, Ministry of Agriculture, and the Ministry of Fisheries and Forests.

“Once youths are encouraged in backyard farming we will take them into micro- commercial level where youths, who already have farms, will be trained to do excessive farming,” Mr Naidu said.

“Markets will be arranged for them and then they will be taken into the main commercial level to be commercial farmers.

“This is our pilot project; after this we will be moving to Sigatoka, Ba, Lautoka, Tavua and Rakiraki,” he said.

The three levels following the one-day training will be backyard farming, micro- commercial farming and then commercial farming.

Mr Naidu said, “We chose this project because we are tacking two issues; one is the empowerment of youths to eat fresh vegetables from their farms;  the second being  to combat the increasing  NCD issue.”

For those who do not have farms, a conventional method of farming will be introduced where tyres, plastic gallons, drums and other materials  can be used for farming.

“We did a few projects a few years back and we found out that people are moving away from farming and are relying on outside sources but if every house has got backyard farms they will benefit immensely because they will be saving money and  their health will be sustained ,”he said

Meanwhile divisional youth officer West Valami Nima said the ministry said youths needed to utilise resources.

“There is a lot of idle land around and the unemployed youths should do something productive and worthwhile with it. This is an ongoing programme where we are doing training so that they know what needs to be done,” he said.

He said the next project would be done in Dratrabu Village.

Feedback: saloteq@fijisun.com.fj

 

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