Implementation of the second season of the project "Little Gardeners" has begun, where in the adapted space of the University Campus, children aged three to ten grow fruits and vegetables.
The first workshop in the second season, opened by the Assistant Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of the Republic of Srpska Goran Bursać, held on 30 April 2022, gathered about 60 children who got acquainted with the garden and garden tools and planted strawberries, while parents had the opportunity to see the exhibition of photographs from last year's workshops. The gathered gardeners and their parents were addressed by the coordinator of the project, Petar Nikolić, MA, who on that occasion handed over to the director of the Institute of Genetic Resources Marina Antić, PhD, the multiplied seeds of indigenous varieties that the small gardeners multiplied in their garden in the 2021 season for storage.
The concept of "Little Gardeners" is designed to introduce children to gardening activities in an attractive and fun way, so that children can learn basic life skills from an early age while developing a proper sense of nature and the environment.
,,One of the goals of this project is the promotion of organic agriculture where fruits and vegetables are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. With this approach, we want to show that the plant is part of a healthy ecosystem and that we best help it grow and develop by listening to its needs instead of striving for high yields at the expense of quality.“, the creator of "Small Gardeners", Senior Laboratory Assistant at the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Banja Luka Petar Nikolić, MA, stated and explained that the goal of the project is for children to develop a good attitude towards all elements of their living space.
,,Through the game, we strive for a more serious goal, so when working with children, we use seeds of domestic indigenous varieties, which contributes to the preservation and multiplication of the seed collection kept in the gene bank of the Institute of Genetic Resources. In this way, we are part of a team that fights to preserve the diversity of indigenous varieties of fruits and vegetables in our area,“ Nikolić said and explained that participation in this project, which was launched in 2021, is free of charge for all children.
The project is implemented by the Strategic Development Projects Centre in cooperation with the Institute of Genetic Resources and the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Banja Luka, and as of this year it is fully funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of the Republic of Srpska.
Applications are open throughout the year, and parents can register their children via the Facebook page Mali baštovani or on the phone number 065/262-872 with Ivana Kozomar.