Excelsior Community College to launch Backyard Farm on Labour Day

Excelsior Community College has partnered with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) to launch its backyard farm on Labour Day.

This launch signals another step on the part of the St. Andrew-based institution to expand its Business Incubator.

"We want our students to learn the business of not just farming but agriculture. We also want them as well as people who live in the districts of Mountain View to be trained in the commercial operation and management of backyard farming," said Gwyneth Jackson, coordinator for the project and head of the School of Business and Entrepreneurial Studies (SOBES).

She noted that this is part of the College's response to the government's call for the establishment of agro-economic zones across the island.

Philmore McCarthy, principal of the College, stated, "As the institution moves towards institutional accreditation, we have positioned ourselves as an institution that is responding to the many challenges that the country faces, one of which is the huge import bill of US$842 million. This is another step in reducing that bill."

"Our students will be planting food items such as sweet peppers, callaloo, pumpkins and vegetables that are of commercial and health value," he continued.

He noted that the backyard farm will also be a 'lab' where students will not only practise and learn the business of farming and agricultural science, but how it can be used to fight against climate change.

"RADA will be playing a long term role with helping us to achieve these objectives as we move towards establishing our greenhouse in the near future," he says.

Excelsior Community College offers an Associate Degree in Environmental Studies and CAPE Environmental Science.