It was hard to tell who was more excited: The children of seven pioneering inner-city schools or Dr Milton Clarke, the environmental specialist at the highly regarded development agency, Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF).

JSIF has been building out a futuristic School's Environmental Programme, constructing greenhouses in the seven selected schools, as part of its Integrated Community Development Project (ICDP), and Clarke recently toured the sites to get a feel of what progress was being made.

With funding support from the World Bank, JSIF will spend $34 million to establish state-of-the-art greenhouses in 23 Jamaican schools in vulnerable communities to produce crops such as sweet peppers, tomatoes, cabbage, lettuce, pak choy, and callaloo.

The project will bring money into the schools from sales of the produce in the community and to nearby schools, and will multiply its impact through linkages with several State agencies and programmes, such as the “eat what you grow, grow what you eat” initiative of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries; the Ministry of Education and Youth's school-feeding programme; and the Ministry of Health's drive to improve nutrition in schools.

Read more at the Jamaica Observer