Diplomats Visit Food for Life Project in Barbuda

Nov 6, 2015

L-R The Hon Lutz Gorgens - German Ambassador to the Caribbean; Brenda Thomas Odlum - NSC Women's Focal Point; Moti Persaud - NSC Chair; The Hon Jan Henderson - New Zealand High Commissioner; Pronella Charles - Barbuda Community Zone Officer; Adonis Henry - Project Manager; Anne-Marie Gore – Secretary; The Hon Ross Tysoe - Australian High Commissioner; Ruth Harris - group member and Devon Christain - group member

The Barbuda Community Development Agricultural Group is the first Civil Society Organisation in Barbuda, which is the twin-island state to Antigua. The group, whose theme is “Food for Life” sits on a three acre agricultural site. The Honourable Lutz Gorgens - German Ambassador to the Caribbean; the Honourable Jan Henderson - New Zealand High Commissioner and Australian High Commissioner, the Honourable Ross Tysoe were invited by the Government of Antigua in celebration of the country’s 34th independence anniversary.

Mrs. Henderson, New Zealand’s High Commissioner shared her delight to be supporting the Food for Life project in Barbuda.  She stated, “I was impressed by the progress achieved on the project in only six months, with rows of vegetables planted, the greenhouse, implements and marketing sheds built, and even a first harvest of watermelons and cabbages.   I was also impressed by the commitment and energy of the project team and their determination to showcase sustainable agricultural techniques, to contribute to food security on Barbuda and encourage young people on the island to get involved in agriculture.”

Similarly, the Honourable Ross Tysoe admired the dedication of the team at Food for Life, noting that “through sheer hard work and dedication they have created a viable and functioning enterprise that will serve as an example to the peoples of Barbuda.” He applauded their vision and the potential of the project to “open the eyes of Barbuda’s youth to the potential of agriculture as a viable career; and ultimately to ensure food security for the island.”

German Ambassador, The Honourable Lutz Gorgens expressed his pleasure, having enjoyed Barbuda’s hospitality for the second time in half a year, noting the changes to the field in Codrington since his last visit. Ambassador Gorgens remarked, “this change shows what a difference the energy and dedication of a group of citizens can make. Indigenous supply in key areas like food and energy is not a myth for Barbuda, but a goal within reach, as an example to this whole region.”

The Government of New Zealand provided funding to the tune of US$11, 000 and the GEF Small Grants Programme contributed US$25, 000. Locally, the Environment Division and the Community Development Division have provided technical support by assisting with training and capacity building. The group continues to seek funding for a tractor for land preparation which will develop lands aimed at food production.

The Barbuda Community Development Agricultural Group’s Food for Life project is integrated, producing vegetables, chickens and pigs.

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