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Minister Johany “Jay” Ebanks Launches Innovative Flex Farms in Partnership with Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator

Government 09 Oct, 2023 Follow News

Edna Moyle Primary School

Clifton Hunter High School

Department of Agriculture

Beacon Farms

In a monumental stride towards sustainable agriculture and food security, the Ministry of Planning, Agriculture, Housing, and Infrastructure of the Cayman Islands proudly announces the integration of Flex Farms as part of The Cayman Islands Food and Nutrition Security policy (CIFNS). This initiative began today, Thursday, October 5th.

The introduction of Flex Farms comes as a result of the collective efforts of the Ministry, the Department of Agriculture, and the Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator (CCSA) program. The Cayman Islands Food and Nutrition Security Policy (CIFNS), a significant policy, 12 years in the making, aims to bolster the Islands’ food and nutrition security measures. The partnership with the CCSA is expected to not only benefit the local farming community but also play a pivotal role in the national School Garden program at both the primary and secondary school levels. This initiative seeks to familiarize our youth with innovative technologies and sustainable agricultural practices.

The Cayman Islands have been granted five Flex Farms from the Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator, The Ministry under the direction of Minister Jay Ebanks, is exploring options to acquire additional units and partnering with other government entities/departments.

The Caribbean Climate smart accelerator program is supported by Sony Music Global Social Justice Fund and by agriculture technology frontrunner, Fork Farms. These Flex Farms, heralded as the epitome of sustainable farming, are mobile hydroponic farms capable of growing a diverse range of foods efficiently and affordably throughout the year.

Remarkably, a single Flex Farm can produce 25 pounds of lettuce in just 28 days while occupying a mere 9-square-feet of space.

Minister Jay Ebanks, accompanied by Honourable Juliana O’Connor-Connolly JP, MP Deputy Premier, Minister for Education and Minister for District Administration & Lands, delivered the first Flex Farm units this morning, Thursday, October 5th, to Edna Moyle Primary School, Beacon Farms, Clifton Hunter High School and The Department of Agriculture, each receiving one unit.

The next delivery to Layman Scott High School in Cayman Brac is to be scheduled over the next few weeks. Each school equipped with one unit, provides the opportunity to introduce students to agricultural training for the very first time.

Additionally, Beacon Farms, a transformative space for individuals recovering from drug and alcohol abuse, provides an innovative introduction into farming.

The Department of Agriculture, the operational wing of the Ministry, will oversee the project, ensuring that the intended outcomes are met and providing timely progress updates via social media.

Hon. Johany “Jay” Ebanks, Minister of Planning, Agriculture, Housing, and Infrastructure, expressed his enthusiasm about the partnership: “The Cayman Islands is thrilled to be recognized and chosen for this pioneering project. As we continue to enhance and modernize our Agricultural Sector, these Flex Farms will significantly complement our efforts, strengthening the food and nutrition security endeavors of the Cayman Islands.”

Chief Officer Eric Bush added, “This collaboration underscores our unwavering commitment to innovative solutions that cater to our community’s needs. By embracing the future of agriculture, we are not only securing our food supply but also laying the foundation for generations to come for the future of the Cayman Islands’.

The Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator program plans to extend this initiative to other nations, advocating for enhanced food security, sustainability, and social inclusion throughout the Caribbean.

About the Department of Agriculture, Cayman Islands:

The Department of Agriculture aims to foster sustainable agricultural production, enhancing self-sufficiency and food security in the Cayman Islands. The Department extends a range of services, from agronomical to veterinarian, and wholly supports The Ministry of Planning, Agriculture, Housing and Infrastructure in implementing its policies and strategies.

For more details, please visit: https://doa.gov.ky/

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