AGROFEST TAKING ITS GREEN PROGRAMME TO SCHOOLS

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Organisers of Agrofest will soon be taking its “Going Green” message to schools in an effort to promote agricultural and environmental sustainability.

A programme targeting primary and secondary schools is expected to get under way in another two weeks. In keeping with the exhibition’s 2009 theme:  “Agrofest …Going Green”, it will culminate with a schools “Going Green Week” to coincide with   Agrofest’s inaugural week of activities on February 8 – 14 next year.

Coordinator of the schools’ programme, Saunjean Cutting, said the programme’s primary objective was to make children aware of the importance of a greener environment and the need for sustainable agricultural production. 

“We are hoping that we will be able to work with a minimum of 10 schools since we recognise the need to start with the youth in Barbados if we want to make changes pertaining to agriculture and the environment.” She explained that the project would seek to educate school children about their immediate environments, namely the school and the home, and highlight ways in which they could effect positive change in these two areas.

“The schools’ programme will highlight the synergies between agriculture and the environment. As such, participating schools will embark on a number of activities which will link these two critical aspects of our lives. These range from the establishment of kitchen gardens to compost making and mini environmental competitions."

Others areas of focus include waste management; recycling; tree planting; environmentally friendly control and environmentally safe cleaning.

Ms. Cutting said she expects to commence the programme in approximately two weeks time, with a group of Brownies who will serve as the pilot group within their school. She stressed that the programme for secondary students would be slightly more technical in nature.

While the intention is to assist schools in preparation for participation in Agrofest, Ms. Cutting said their vision went far beyond the annual agricultural exhibition. “This goes beyond Agrofest – what we want to leave with them (students) is practical information about living healthier lives and alternatives for environmental practices which do not cause further damage to the ozone layer,” she underlined.

Activities planned for the schools’ “Going Green Week” include a class or school–wide waste audit; a waste-less lunch day; a tree planting exercise and the recycling of waste from the audits.

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