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Locals in Seychelles learn how to set up own home gardens

Victoria, Seychelles | September 6, 2016, Tuesday @ 15:14 in National » GENERAL | By: Patsy Athanase and Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 2496
Locals in Seychelles learn how to set up own home gardens

The project to encourage backyard gardening in Seychelles is being funded by the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) under the ‘Competitive Local Innovation for Small-Scale Agriculture.' (George Bibi)

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(Seychelles News Agency) - More Seychellois can now set up their own garden at home through a training programme aimed at encouraging homeowners to grow their own produce for consumption and side income.

The project, funded by the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) under the ‘Competitive Local Innovation for Small-Scale Agriculture,’ targets individuals who practice gardening at home or what is referred to as backyard gardeners.

The coordinator of the project, George Bibi, told SNA, “Backyard gardeners usually do their farming on a part-time basis for their own consumption and any surplus of fruits and vegetables are sold and is a source of revenue for the households," said Bibi.

Bibi said around 380 backyard gardeners had been trained since the project started last year and so far this year 75 participants have attended the training.

“There is a lot of interest and every month the number of participants keeps increasing. I would say that it has attained its objective to train as many people as possible on the importance of producing for their own consumption,” Bibi said.

The home gardening training will go on until December and is conducted by a consultant, Gabriel Prudence. (George Bibi) Photo License: CC-BY

Katherine Moustache has been practising backyard gardening for a couple of years and attended one of the training sessions to learn more about farming techniques.

Moustache, who works as a house maid, has set up her garden at her workplace at Anse Aux Pins, a district in the southern part of Mahe.

In her home garden, she has a variety of spices and vegetables including thyme, parsley, spring onions, lettuce, Chinese cabbage, tomatoes, chilli and cucumber.

“I have a big family, and it can be expensive to buy from the market so having my own garden removes a lot of pressure on my budget,” said Moustache.

Katherine Moustache has been practising backyard gardening for a couple of years and attended one of the training sessions to learn more about farming techniques. (Katherine Moustache) Photo License: CC-BY

Moustache explained that these are grown in a wooden container she built as it was more ideal to use than planting straight into the soil.

“I don’t have a surplus to sell for extra income, but it doesn’t matter as I can actually see the saving I’m making when I harvest from my garden and of course I get fresh produce on a daily basis,” she said.

The home gardening training will go on until December and is conducted by a consultant, Gabriel Prudence.

Prudence said the training equips participants with basic gardening skills and different techniques they can use depending on the space available.

“Any person can practice backyard farming, regardless if they have a small yard or no ground space. We teach them various techniques to maximise the use of their space,” said Prudence.

Around 380 backyard gardeners had been trained since the project started last year and so far this year 75 participants have attended the training. (Clive Camille) Photo License: CC-BY

He said participants are shown how to build their garden using different types of recycled containers, such as wooden boxes, tyres, plastic, gutter and basket.

“Backyard farming should not be expensive. It is what is termed as natural farming where participants are shown how to use things in their environment to generate more yield,” said Prudence.

Participant also learned how to improve their soil using manure and how to control pests without the use of pesticides, said the training consultant.

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Tags: International Fund for Agriculture Development, backyard gardeners, gardening, farming

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