Barbados Seeking Help With Food Production

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley in discussion with China’s Ambassador to Barbados, Yan Xiusheng, at the recent ground breaking ceremony for the Duke’s Agricultural Research Park in St. Thomas. Looking on (from left to right) are Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of The University of the West Indies at Cave Hill, Professor Clive Landis; Member of Parliament, Cynthia Forde; Education Minister, Kay McConney; and Minister of Agriculture, Indar Weir. (C. Pitt/BGIS)
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Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley will be seeking help from the Kingdom of the Netherlands to boost the island’s food production capabilities.

She signalled her administration’s intention to work with the global leader during the ground breaking ceremony to commence construction on the Duke’s Agricultural Research Park in St. Thomas, recently.

Ms. Mottley stressed that the country’s ambition to significantly increase food production must be buttressed “not by the plantation model of agriculture, but an infusion of technology, capital and passion from our citizens while reinforced by global certification to ensure that we can do much more in a more effective and efficient way”.

The Prime Minister also addressed other frontiers that the island must pursue to realise expanded economic opportunities for the sector.

“The other major frontier for us as we go forward will be in aquaculture and mariculture and we have made it absolutely clear that a country that has this level of tourism profile and exposure cannot continue to simply see itself as importing all of its needs, but can in fact, produce enough for ourselves and the rest of the region in terms of prawns and other types of fish – both freshwater fish and ocean fish,” she proffered.

The $34 million facility, which is funded by a bilateral grant arrangement between China and Barbados, is being established through a tripartite relationship between the Government, the private sector and the Cave Hill Campus.

Upon completion it will comprise 13 buildings that will house laboratories, production facilities and a conference centre. In addition, the facility will boast 14 acres of land for agricultural use. The land was donated to the university by philanthropist Eddie Edghill and his family in September 2012.

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