Better Life Through Sustainable Home Gardening

Mar 29, 2016

With the growing concern over the prevalence of non-communicable diseases in Barbados, the Barbados Association of Retired Persons (BARP) has developed another initiative to promote healthy living, improve productivity and sustainability of local food gardening among its 40,000+ members and wider communities. With funding support from the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP), implemented by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), BARP through its Education Committee will be implementing the Better Life Gardening Project.

The project is a continuation of the BARP on the Move campaign; the Association’s ongoing initiative targeted at managing, preventing and lowering the high incidence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) among its members and the nation. Research reveals that hypertension, which is one of the most important risk factors for heart disease, affects approximately 27% of the local population (Chronic Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) Facts in the Caribbean, Healthy Caribbean Coalition).

During the official launch of the project on 4th March 2016 at the Savannah Hotel, Mr. Edward Bushell, President of BARP noted, “The project adds to ever expanding role and activities of BARP, as we strive to reduce the cost of living to our members, inspire active aging, encourage healthy lifestyles and generally improve the way of life.”

He stated that the project’s intention is multifaceted as it will teach and encourage varying forms of home gardening, help reduce and control the incidence of NCDs in Barbados, reduce members out of pocket expenses at the grocery store, be a source of income, promote physical activity.

During the featured address, Mr. Elsworth Reid, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management commended BARP on its initiative which blends perfectly with the Ministry’s Food and Nutrition Security Media Campaign’s theme, “Grow Well, Eat Well, Live Well Right Here in Bim”. He stated that the Ministry will be campaigning for Barbadians to eat more locally grown nutritious foods and to support local farmers by purchasing locally produced fruits and vegetables.

Mr. David Bynoe, National Coordinator, GEF SGP Barbados stated, “This project is indeed visionary in its implications. It goes beyond making a contribution to the reduction of our country’s $BBD 750 million food import bill to augmenting the country’s efforts to combat the scourge of non-communicable diseases and the over $BBD 700 million health bill faced by tax payers.”

“It will serve as a catalyst to enrich the social fabric of Barbados and rekindle the loss virtues and community spirit associated with house holders growing and sharing produce within their communities,” Mr. Bynoe added.

BARP has joined a growing movement of civil society organization such as the Young Women Christian Association, Junior Achievement Charity of Barbados, Youth Equipped to Achieve, Caribbean Centre for Food Security & Sustainability, Diabetes Foundation and The Sojourner Foundation who have been advocating the importance of agriculture and organic home gardening to the sustainable development of Barbados.
The Barbados Association of Retired Persons (BARP) is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation (NGO) dedicated to improving the quality of life of older persons throughout the island. It was incorporated in 1995 and is one of the largest and fastest growing organisations in Barbados.

Stakeholders and project beneficiaries during the project launch
Ms Elsa Webster, Executive Manager of BARP, providing an overview of the project
David Bynoe, National Coordinator of SGP Barbados providing brief remarks

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