On Wednesday, November 26, 13 farmers from Fancy Vegetable Farmers Cooperative in Agricultural Region Three, on the Windward side of the island, were taken on a field tour to the Leeward side. Over the years, farmers in Fancy have been facing increasing difficulties in acquiring seedlings for their vegetable production. This was owing to the distance of the community from Georgetown and Kingstown.
In order to address this problem a number of vegetable farmers formed themselves into the producer group: Fancy Vegetable Farmers Cooperative (FAVFCO). The main objective of the group is to provide quality vegetable seedlings at a sustainable level and an affordable cost to farmers in the community of Fancy throughout the year.
To this end, the group has embarked on the project of establishing a nursery in Fancy. President of the organization Marsha Williams volunteered her backyard as a site to erect a greenhouse to facilitate seedling production.
During the tour, farmers were taken to various locations on the Leeward side of the island. Visits were made to Alvier Stevens Pineapple farm, the livestock production centre in Belmont and the Richmond Vale Academy Food Forest and Organic Garden.
The farmers took note of the technologies being used in crop and livestock production, their knowledge of climate change was enhanced and they observed the use of organic methods, such as composting. They also identified practical and innovative techniques to harvest rain water for various uses.
After approaching agricultural officers Noel Samuel and Leroy Jackson with their proposal, the farmers were invited to a field tour to the Leeward side of the island to be introduced to innovative and adaptive methods being used in agriculture by farmers in that agricultural region.
President of FAVFCO Marsha Williams expressed gratitude on behalf of the group for such an opportunity to upgrade their knowledge. Williams also made commitments to implement what they had learned in Region One in their lifestyles, particularly organic farming. The FAVCO president further stated that the organization was strengthened to pursue its objectives with confidence.