FRIDAY MARCH 23 2018 Aquaponics farming will be added to the list of vocational and trade skills available to over 70 youth, ages 14 to 18 at the Youth Training Centre (YTC). “This programme will generate hope for our young men as they reintegrate into society”, says Deputy Commissioner of Prisons, Mr. Dennis Pulchan, as he expressed his pleasure in teaming up with Digicel Foundation to make this entrepreneurial opportunity available to the young residents.
Aquaponics is a combination of Hydroponics – growing plants in water – and Aquaculture – rearing of marine animals, in a symbiotic environment. The unit will form part of the vocational training for the residents that can be further developed as an income generating stream. At present, the youth are exposed to barbering, mechanics and academics at the Centre.
The Aquaponics Unit will further complement the rehabilitation of the youth, giving them the opportunity to manage the daily operations of the system, harvest the vegetable and fish produce with the eventual intention of processing, packaging and even selling the produce.
On March 2, Operations Manager of the Digicel Foundation, Cindyann Currency visited the YTC to see the early implementation of the project. Also in attendance were Deputy Commissioner of Prisons, Dennis Pulchan, Superintendent Scanterbury, Assistant Superintendent Beverly Mitchell, Prison Supervisor, Ms. James, and Fisheries Officer, Mr. Eustace Phillips.
The Digicel Foundation launched the Aquaponics Programme in 2014 in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries. The team at the Fisheries Division, led by Mr. Lalla is responsible for building the unit and offering technical support to the programme beneficiaries.