The National Conservation Commission (NCC) is continuing its public outreach in the area of plant propagation, with members of the Barbados Youth Service (BYS) being the most recent beneficiaries.

According to the NCC’s Technical Officer, Ryan Brathwaithe, over the past two weeks, some 34 members of the BYS have been undergoing practical training,?? with the theoretical workshop?? due to start this Saturday, March 6, from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m. at its Codrington, St. Michael, headquarters.

Participants are expected to gain a basic understanding of both agricultural and horticultural techniques from the training, which will run until early June.

In keeping with the theme: ???Youth Helping Youth’, Leslie Newton, an agriculture student of the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic will make a presentation to the workshop, while Foreman with the NCC, Sheila King and General Worker, Sharon Brathwaite, will demonstrate the practical aspects of the subject areas.

In giving an overview of the plant propagation programme, Mr. Brathwaithe said over 250 persons, including school children; 4-H members; church groups and members of the Diabetes Association, have been trained since?? it commenced in June last year.

Noting that the programme was initially slated to run for six months, the NCC spokesman stated its popularity had led it to become an "ongoing" one.

"It really is a continuation of our vegetation project. Initially, we started with the schools, but as the public became more aware of reforestation and the environment, they became more interested in plant propagation.

"A lot of people are interested in volunteering, and we are now linking it [the programme] with the propagation of vegetables and food," Mr. Brathwaithe explained.

Pointing out that the same techniques used for plant propagation, were those used for food, Mr. Braithwaite stressed that a lot more Barbadians were interested in growing their own food, since it could supplement their food bill.

With seasonings such as parsley and thyme and vegetables including beets among the popular food crops, the Technical Officer indicated they had been encouraging interested persons to attend the workshops.?? "They don’t need to have a lot of space [at home], but it can be done," he underscored.

The plant propapagation programme is part of the NCC’s commitment to promoting "green initiatives" and encouraging Barbadians to re-introduce kitchen gardens into their residential landscapes as a measure of self-sustenance.??

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