On behalf of Seprod Foundation, the following remarks were made at the special awards ceremony and closing ceremony for the Budding Framers Grow Club Summer Camp held at 22 Chalmers Avenue, Molynes Road on July 30, 2022.
The past couple years have been a roller coaster to say the least. For many of us, one of the most profound impacts of the pandemic has been its impact on education and the resulting impact on the daily lives of our children – the lack of face to face interaction between teachers, students and their peers; the sudden transition to remote learning without training for teachers or students, and without the necessary infrastructure and equipment; and the resulting learning loss that our children are experiencing.
We were firmly in the middle of the pandemic in 2021 when we learned about the Budding Farmers Grow Club and their mission to instill a love of agriculture in primary school students. Grace and her team were determined to get the programme going despite the limitations posed by the pandemic and launched the programme as a virtual programme. Despite being virtual, the Budding Farmers team did an excellent job at keeping the programme hands on and interactive through guided at-home experiments and activities.
We, at Seprod Foundation, did not hesitate to offer our support – and we joined them for their inaugural year as their title sponsor. For us, the pandemic brought the very important issue of food security to the forefront. We believe that Jamaica is at a tipping point where we need to choose to act to address food insecurity, or there will be a point when we will have no choice but to act – it will be that critical. We believe in the approach of the Budding Farmers Grow Club. We believe that our children are our future, and if we are to see more Jamaicans choose agriculture as a career, as a business, we need to start with our children.
I don’t want to take up too much more time, so I will close by expressing how happy we are to see the Budding Farmers Grow Camp being executed IN PERSON. Thank you to the Budding Farmers team for their commitment to empowering our children by allowing them to experience the wonderful world of agriculture first hand. We are happy that we have been able to support and enable the work that you do. I would also like to thank Chalmers Oasis, Mayberry and Musson Jamaica for allowing us to use this space. Thank you to all the other sponsors and partners who made the Grow Camp such a dynamic and fun filled experience for the children. Finally, thank you to the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, the Honorable Pearnel Charles Jnr. and his Ministry for their endorsement and their support.
At Seprod Foundation, we continue to invest in the future of Jamaica, by investing in our children. Thank you all for being a part of that, and we look forward to continuing our work and our partnerships in the years to come.