Southfield greenhouse abandoned

January 16, 2018
Basil Ebanks at his farm in Southfield, St Elizabeth.
This greenhouse in Southfield, St Elizabeth, has fallen into disrepair.

The Southfield community in St Elizabeth is home to a greenhouse that was intended to help farmers in growing their crops, but which has fallen into disrepair.

The greenhouse, which was originally erected by the Digicel Foundation in 2013, is located at the end of a battered dirt road some five minutes away from the main road. The sight of the structure is not worth the journey, however, as portions of the material which make up the roof and walls have been stripped off and there are no fruits or vegetables being grown inside.

Eunice Watkins, who lives immediately across from the greenhouse, said she has never seen any crops reaped from its land.

"The greenhouse is there for four years and nothing is going on for it. It never gets a crop yet, and any time you come, it bare. They may have to pull the greenhouse back down," said Watkins.

Basil Ebanks, a mango and cattle farmer who also lives near the greenhouse, said that little maintenance has been given to the structure since its construction.

"From it put there, they don't do a thing with it. They changed the mesh on it sometime last year and it tear down again," said Ebanks. "Every time you call the RADA (Rural Agricultural Development Authority) officer, he says he has to go to a meeting. I see him maybe two times."

Nathan Samuels, RADA's parish manager for St Elizabeth, said that repairing the greenhouse is not his organisation's responsibility.

"I know the Southfield greenhouse was in disrepair for a while, because it was the Digicel Foundation that gave it to them, and it has sustained wind damage because of the construction style. But that greenhouse wouldn't be RADA's responsibility, when it comes to repairs, because RADA is not in the business of repairing greenhouses," said Samuels.

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