Celebrating the success of the Rotary Club of Armidale and Northern Settlement Services’ Regional Agricultural Employment Project (REAP) today, thanks to a $29,559 grant from the State Government, Northern Settlement Services’ Project Officer Khalid Adi, left, Hadi Ildnidnii, Northern Settlement Services’ CEO Sharon Daishe, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, Northern Settlement Services’ Community and Settlement Co-ordinator Jessica Schmidt, Hamoud Afret and Saeed Suliieman.
Monday, 6 December 2021
AN agricultural program teaching Armidale’s Ezidi community skills in horticulture farming has received financial support to ‘put down roots’ long term, with Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall today announcing a $29,559 State Government grant for the Rotary Club of Armidale.
The Rotary Club of Armidale and Northern Settlement Services’ Regional Agricultural Employment Project (REAP), provides access to farm land for people from migrant and refugee backgrounds to apply and adapt their existing rural skills in the Australian context.
Mr Marshall said the incredible initiative had already given seven Ezidi farmers the experience required to establish successful vegetable plots.
“REAP was initiated more than two years ago, with Rotary providing support, training and land to Ezidi refugees with farming backgrounds,” Mr Marshall said.
“This grant will be spent installing and upgrading infrastructure on the two donated 4 hectare plots, with the aim of enabling the agricultural project to grow and operate efficiently.
“New storage sheds will allow equipment to be housed on site, while a dedicated community and WHS space will be established to provide shelter and space for gatherings.
“While Rotary is supporting the farmers to establish market gardens of onion and garlic, long term it is the expectation they will become autonomous producers, growing what they like.
“REAP has truly allowed Ezidi refugees to realise their dream of growing a new life in our region and I look forward to seeing the various crops which flourish as a result of this grant.”
Rotary Club of Armidale President Bernie Perkins said the project intended to provide long term employment and sustainable business benefits to the Ezidi community.
“The Rotary Club of Armidale has long been known for its community work, and this project has received wide recognition, including from the headquarters of Rotary International in America,” Mr Perkins said.
“REAP has a planned timeframe of five years and in that time we anticipate the entire Ezidi community will harvest benefits from its outcomes.
“Our Rotary Club has over 50 members supporting this project, along with the assistance of many local service providers.
“We look forward to using these funds to further the project’s growth and to provide wider employment and business opportunities or the Ezidi community.”