(Stock Photo)

Photographs and videos of backyard gardens filled with herbs, fruit and vegetables are needed by the Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS) for an upcoming series of web and television programmes.

Micro, small and medium-sized gardens growing thyme, parsley, sweet peppers marjoram, lettuce, kale, carrots, squash, chives, cabbage, bananas, tomatoes, watermelons, sweet potatoes and many more will be showcased in the programmes, which aim to highlight home gardens across the island.

Persons interested in participating in the series may email photographs and/or videos of their prized gardens to backyard.gardening@barbados.gov.bb, or send by WhatsApp to 234-0992.

“This is an opportunity for Barbadians to share the secret of their success in agriculture; explain how to achieve that ‘green thumb’, and help others surmount the various obstacles along the way,” BGIS’ Deputy Chief Information Officer (DCIO), Ian Inniss, said.

He noted that several lucky persons submitting photographs and videos, along with those at home watching the series, would also get a chance to win several gardening prizes.

The DCIO explained that viewers would gain insight into various aspects of backyard gardening. Included among these, he said, would be hints on growing seedlings in containers, tyres and vertically; preparing the land; planting and transplanting; natural pest controls and disease management; using compost and organic mulches to improve soils; harvesting rain water; essential nutrients for the crop’s life-cycle and the required tools for the backyard.

“The series will focus on giving viewers all the advice they need, and this will come from experts in the field, from the Ministry of Agriculture,” he noted. 

The upcoming web and television programmes come at a time when Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Indar Weir, following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, urged all Barbadians to become involved in some form of agriculture “in order to truly guarantee food and nutrition security”. 

Minister Weir revealed then that Barbados imports approximately 80 per cent of the food it consumes, and despite the decline from 2018, food imports in 2019 were valued at approximately BDS$616.4 million, with imports of fruits, vegetables and nuts accounting for BDS$158.0 million, or 26 per cent of the island’s total food import bill. 

Furthermore, the Agriculture Minister stressed what is required is a mass effort involving government, as well as the private sector. 

He said: “Farmers of all scales – small, medium and large – need to be a part of this national food production initiative.”


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