The Ministry of National Mobilisation has as part of its portfolio the Youth Affairs Division. Through this Division the Ministry launched out a Youth in Agriculture Pilot programme in the Overland Community.
The group formed carries the name “the Overland Progressive Youth Group” (OPYG) formed on the 10th of February, 2018.
This group catered to Youth, in and out of school ages from 15-30 years; at the moment there are 17 youth involved under the supervision of Assistant Youth Officer Ms. Antoinette Duncan.
The programme utilizes the Cooperative model and is being assisted by the Cooperative Division within the Ministry. The objectives of this programme are as follows:
- a) To choose Agriculture as a viable means of employment.
- b) To provide hands on experience to Youth in Agriculture.
- c) To create awareness of the different careers in Agriculture.
- d) To teach Youth the importance of Agriculture as a viable economic choice for sustainable National Development.
Permission was granted to use the Overland Government school lands for cultivation, land preparation commenced on the 16th March, 2018 under the supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture and planting of crops (broad leaf thyme and hot peppers) was done on the 13th April and 12th June, 2018 respectively.
Negotiation ensued and Vincy Fresh is providing the market for these produce. Three months after planting the crops, on the 30th July, 2018 the group harvested their first crop of broad leaf thyme with a total of 15 sacks (688)lbs and on the 10th September, 2018 they sold their first crop of hot peppers with a total of (20)lbs.
The group has subsequently opened an account at the GECCU. Presently the group has sold over 2,000lbs broad leaf thyme and 180lbs hot peppers which accumulated income of over 2,000.00 dollars.
Last Monday 10th December, the group took a decision that they would show gratitude to the Overland Government School, for allowing them to use the school’s land, the group contributed books, toys and food supplies to the school.
This handing over was done at the school’s compound in the presence of students, teachers and some members of the group.
The President Ms. Sophia Byron, PRO Mr. Jerrol Byron and Mr. Akex Phillips did the handing over to the Deputy Principal Ms. Ingrid Charles.