BVI News

All schools must grow garden; more agriculture focus


Education Minister Myron Walwyn has announced plans to make agriculture more prominent in the local school curriculum.

Addressing a gathering at the H Lavity Stoutt Memorial Celebration on Monday, Walwyn said the events following the September 2017 hurricanes influenced the decision.

“I will be mandating that all schools, both primary and secondary create and maintain a school garden and that agricultural science become a greater focus as part of the curriculum,” Walwyn said.

The minister further underscored the importance of having food security.

Uncertainty about food

He recalled how several residents were concerned and uncertain about securing food immediately after the disasters.

“We can all remember standing in lines at the supermarkets for several hours —  feeling a bit uneasy because we were unsure if there would be food once we finally got inside,” he said.

“These instances could have perhaps been avoided if each of us did our own little part to keep the agricultural sector alive … This is something that I dare say we must all endeavour to do now.”

Walwyn further said the former Chief Minister Hamilton Lavity Stoutt would have actively pursued various ways to get persons to once again recognise the importance of agriculture and starting their own gardens.

Agriculture to be main economic pillar 

Just weeks ago, Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for agriculture Dr Kedrick Pickering said the agriculture sector will be the main revenue-earner for the BVI in the next few years.

At the time, Dr Pickering said three major companies were already willing to invest in the local agricultural sector.

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  1. Yes! says:

    This, I am actually for. Good Initiative, Sir. I am all for this. And hopefully, it is not another “start and stop” program.

    • Albion says:

      I hope it goes better than the attempt to introduce teaching financial services in schools did.

      • Educator says:

        Look at the negativity. The ministry of education does not do stop and start projects. The financial services subject is still going very well in secondary schools to the point that the BVI got it to be a CAPE subject for the Caribbean. Stop the negativity!!

  2. Rubber Duck says:

    Er…gardens tend to blow away in hurricanes too.

    • True says:

      But more people would have had stored fruits and vegetables. Those whose gardens were not blown away would have been resources for additional food locally.

  3. Okay... says:

    dr smith should reshuffle and give Myron NRL it is better for him

  4. ...... says:

    Trying to overthrow the cuban?

  5. HMM says:

    Once upon a time as a little girl in Althea Scatliffe, we use to had a garden in the back of the school. Ms.Idalin was in charge. It will be nice to see these kids getting their hands dirty.

  6. TurtleDove says:

    We did in CGB back in the 70’s “Go Skeet! RIP” I still grow a garden every year. I like this.

  7. Gumption. Official says:

    Farming should be in all schools and should be introduced from a young age. They can leaning about life and still make bit of money for the school or just to have fresh food to eat. With farming It can also reduce crime (not end) I wish this program a green tum of success.

  8. Maggie says:

    All you need is a couple of packets of seeds…..plant, add water regularly and watch out for the weeds!

  9. Commentator says:

    I am glad to see that we as a country now see the need to focus on Agriculture. But when will we learn to be proactive rather than reactive. Why did it have to take Hurricanes Irma and Maria to show us that we need to grow our own crops again? I say again because our history will tell us that we grew many crops in the past and Agriculture was one of our economic pillars. However, It eventually died because our focus was on the financial services and tourism industries.

    Since we now want to introduce Agriculture in our school curriculum, I would also like to see us introduce sailing, swimming and fishing as well. We boast of our islands being the sailing capital of the world and the majority of our people don’t know how to sail, swim or fish.

    I hope these suggestions are considered when reviewing our school curriculum so that our children can fully participate in and benefit from these industries.

  10. Concern says:

    Great idea that you stole from Gumption in Virgin Gorda as he sponsors schools and their gardens. But glad you are taking the initiative to make a change, just give credit to those when it is due and stop making it seems like this is your brain child.

  11. Sam the man says:

    Don’t let Dr Pickering influence the produce – we really don’t want our kids growing marijuana

  12. Boo says:

    So this is a good idea but it really seems that what happens in BVI depends on who whispers on a Minister’s ear or what side of the bed they wake up on. Where is the Strategic plan for education boss?

    • Planner says:

      You sound soo silly. Did you ask Andrew for his plan? Clearly there is a plan and a good one because they getting it right every time.

  13. Fitzroy says:

    This is a wonderful plan to return agriculture on the curriculum. Food security is very important. Freshly harvested foods are much better than imported. When I usto attend all age school there was a lovely vegetable garden it helped me to understand the importance of farming now am operating my own farm.
    Like my page on FB Fitzroy’s Organic Farm

  14. islandgurl says:

    In schools is a great idea but why isn’t it a great idea for local farmers? Why doesn’t the govt promote agriculture more? Shouldn’t agriculture be a natural thing for a country located in a part of the world with near perfect weather all year round? (Minus hurricanes )

  15. Use the land says:

    There are enough uninhabited islands in the BVI that we can use solely for agriculture. We can create a huge market. Use the land.

  16. Hmm... says:

    As an important industry in the BVI, this is something that should have been implemented years ago. Nonetheless congrats on deciding to moving forward

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