The Woburn Methodist School has become the first school to benefit from an Aquaponics Project of Olive Branch (a non-profit organization). Aquaponics is a scientific model of agriculture which uses waste water produced by farmed fish to hydroponically cultivate plants. The plants draw nutrients from the waste and filter the water allowing for its recycled use by the aquatic animals.
Principal of the School, Richard Japal, welcomes the idea is happy to have such a Project at his school. He says it falls in line with his approach for all inclusive education based heavily on skills. He values the Project highly as he sees agriculture as one of the main pillars of the economy. Speaking at the Launch at the Woburn Methodist School on Thursday 10th January, 2018, he said it was a wonderful initiative to get the students actively involved in agriculture and especially in non-traditional scientific agriculture.
The produce grown under the Project is expected to provide fresh vegetables and herbs for the School’s school-feeding programme and to be sold to raise extra funds for the School. The overall objective is to improve the quality of foods served in school while promoting a healthier lifestyle. The hope is that the children will also take the techniques and technology back to their homes as well.
Funding for the Project –building a greenhouse and the aquaponics system was provided by the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF) implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Technical assistance was received from the Chemistry Department of the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine.
Olive Branch has received funding to do similar projects in five other schools including Westerhall Secondary, the Grenada Boys Secondary School, St. Joseph’s Convent St. George’s, Presentation Brothers College and the Hermitage Government School.