The National Housing Development Trust (NHDT) has partnered with Beacon Farms to process green waste from the affordable housing development sites to compost for farmers, home owners and members of the public.
The project started last month when several loads of green waste from NHDT’s North Side housing development site was trucked to Beacon Farms, a non-profit organisation located off Frank Sound Road that provides agricultural jobs for Caymanians recovering from addiction.
Minister of Planning, Agriculture, Housing and Infrastructure, Hon. Jay Ebanks, Board Members and General Manager of the NHDT Julio Ramos visited the farm recently and discussed the project with Beacon Farms’ board director Scott Haugh and Chief Operating Officer Sandy Urquhart.
Minister Ebanks expressed his support for the programme noting that it will be a win-win for NHDT and members of the farming community. “We are very conscious of the environment and left as many trees as possible for buffer at the North Side housing site while using the green waste for composting to benefit as many people as possible, especially our farmers”, he said.
He further noted, “We all know that organic amendments are essential elements to increase soil fertility which we are trying to do as part of good agriculture practices to bolster our food security”.
In commenting on the project, Mr. Ramos stated that the plan is for existing and future NHDT homeowners to have access to good quality soil for their backyard gardens from the waste generated from the housing development sites. “The Trust is looking forward to other opportunities where both entities can partner on other initiatives that will be beneficial to our communities, he emphasised.
Mr. Urquhart welcomed the partnership with NHDT as Beacon Farms need a constant supply of green and brown waste to produce compost. The farm’s composting facility has capacity to hold around 53 tonnes of material and uses industrial chipping and shredding machines to accelerate the process.
“Partnering with NHDT to produce higher volumes of compost benefits agriculture and our community. Our programme of social entrepreneurship at Beacon Farms aligns well with NHDT’s mission to support people in need of assistance”.