St Hilda’s High gets greenhouse

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ST Hilda’s High School in Brown’s Town, St Ann is the latest school in the parish to be equipped with a greenhouse.

Noranda Bauxite recently handed over the greenhouse to the school along with a donation of romaine lettuce plants and seedlings.

St Hilda’s is the 6th school in St Ann to be provided with a greenhouse by the bauxite company.

The other schools currently benefitting from this programme are York Castle High, Brown’s Town High, Aabuthnott Gallimore High, Aboukir Institute, and St Christopher’s School for the Deaf.

During a tour of the participating schools, Noranda Public and Community Relations Superintendent Kent Skyers stated that the company is satisfied with the growth of its School Green House Programme.

“We are very happy that students at all the participating schools are being exposed to greenhouse technology at an early age.

“This can only enhance the learning progress and we look forward to the expansion of this programme,” he said, noting that the school farms are being used to subsidise canteen operations as well as to earn funds from the local markets.

Skyers said that the feedback from all the schools and farmers has been positive and Noranda Bauxite will be looking at introducing the programme into proposed new mining areas in Trelawny.

“We estimate some 400 farmers from our operating area are now involved in greenhouse production with some reporting a 500 per cent increase in production”, said Skyers.

Noranda’s Vice-President & General Manager Delroy Dell has said that the schools’ programme ties in with major development and expansion of greenhouse technology across Noranda’s mining area in St Ann.

He said that the Jamaica Bauxite Institute, the Jamaica Social Investment Fund, Noranda and the bauxite industry continue to develop its major partnership to expand a greenhouse programme for small farmers in bauxite mining areas.

Dell said that the expansion has created 60 greenhouses since 2015 in the area, in addition to 50 houses established earlier at Burnt Ground, Nine Miles, Watt Town, and Tobolski mining areas.

The general manager said that the company initiated the project in 2009 on rehabilitated mined out lands as the best option for farmers restricted by drought conditions.

Principal of St Hilda’s Heather Reid Johnson, in welcoming the donation to her school, said that “the greenhouse represents a significant addition to our agricultural education programme”.

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