Announcing $5,000 to expand the Rotary Club of Armidale’s Ezidi farm this week, Rotary project director Peter Lloyd, left, Northern Settlement Services’ Perry Calkin, Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, Armidale Rotary Club President Bernie Perkins and club member Grant Harris.
Thursday, 16 June 2022
EZIDI farmers at Armidale to be given the capacity propagate vegetables all-year round, with Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall and Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure this week announcing $5,000 to add a hothouse to the site of the Regional Agricultural Employment Project (REAP).
Last year the State Government provided $29,559 to support the Rotary Club of Armidale and Northern Settlement Services’ REAP program, which provides access to farmland for people from migrant and refugee backgrounds to apply and adapt their existing rural skills in the Australian context.
Mr Marshall said several participants had experience working in greenhouses in Iraq.
“While REAP is teaching Ezidi migrants the skills they need to succeed in an Australian horticultural context, it is important efforts are made to foster their pre-existing capabilities,” Mr Marshall said.
“This grant will fund the construction of a 15 metre by 4.2 metre hothouse with galvanised pipe frame and shade cloth cover.
“Farmers are currently only growing crops which can be harvested in summer, including garlic and onions. A hothouse will extend the planting opportunities on offer.
“The structure’s design has been developed with consideration of the region’s cold winter climate.
“It was great to be able to show Minister Coure the incredible work being done here in our region to empower refugees to establish their own marker-garden operations and become autonomous producers.”
Rotary Club of Armidale President Bernie Perkins said new State Government funded infrastructure had greatly improved the farming operation.
“As a result of last year’s funding, new storage sheds have been erected to store equipment at the two four-hectare plots,” Mr Perkins said.
“A dedicated community and WHS space has also been established to provide shelter and an area for gatherings.
“We thank Adam and the State Government for their efforts in securing this additional funding for the hothouse.
“Our club is proud of the progress which has been made through REAP, to provide long term employment and sustainable business benefits to the Ezidi community.”