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DOA Needs 13 Farmers On Three Islands For Farm To Hospital Program

FREDERIKSTED — The Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture is looking for 13 farmers, six in each district and one in St. John for the Farm to Hospital (FTH) Program.

The program will provide selected applicants with technical assistance and training on best planting practices, crop variety selection, irrigation, and post-harvest-techniques, VIDOA Commissioner nominee Terrence Nelson said.

The V.I. Department of Agriculture secured federal funding from the USDA-Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) FY 2018 Specialty Crop Block Grant to establish the Program to operate in conjunction with the Harvest of the Month initiative in the territory.

The selected farmers will function in concert to grow a fruit/vegetable crops which will be presented on the hospital ’s lunch menu as the Harvest of the Month in both island districts. 

All individuals interested in participating in this program may request an application via e-mail: billy.abraham@doa.vi.gov; or pick up one from the VI Department of Agriculture in either district. Selected applicants must possess the following minimum requirements: 

  • Adequate water supply
  • Farmer’s License
  • Health Card

Land (proprietorship of property is not mandatory; however, if the property belongs to another party, then express permission from the landowner must be granted).

The Farm to Hospital – Harvest of the Month program seeks to establish a formal supply chain relationship between hospitals and farms in which both parties benefit.

Hospitals benefit by upholding the shared mission of many hospitals to 1) promote healthy living, 2), provide a model from which patients may learn, and 3), foster a healthy food environment.

Farmers benefit because FTH programs create an alternative marketing channel for their products.

The deadline to submit applications to the V.I. Department of Agriculture – Marketing Division is 4:59 p.m. February 28.

Applications may be submitted electronically to billy.abraham@doa.vi.gov

All questions regarding this opportunity should be sent to the above email address.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy has been reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Caribbean region since 1989. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan.

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