An aggressive campaign is being undertaken to stimulate interest in agriculture in Barbados.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management, Esworth Reid, disclosed today that his Ministry was in the process of creating a demonstration farm and training centre to highlight and encourage sustainable agriculture.

During a site visit at the Ministry???s Graeme Hall, Christ Church headquarters, Mr. Reid told the media that the most modern techniques of sustainable agriculture would be utilised on the project.

???When I say sustainable agriculture, I am speaking about agriculture that is climate friendly or climate smart, that is environmentally friendly and match with the eco-systems around us. All of those techniques will be demonstrated ??? So, farmers will be able to see, households will be able to see, and in doing that, we will expect therefore the agricultural sector to go in that direction ??? So, this is the main purpose of this so-called demonstration farm,??? he stated.

Explaining that the Ministry would start with aquaponics, hydroponics, vertical agriculture and protective agriculture, which encompass green houses, the Permanent Secretary reiterated that the purpose of the project was to stimulate the development of agriculture in Barbados.

???This project is very important at this time, especially since the economy needs a jumpstart, and I believe that agriculture is one of the economic sectors that can jumpstart the economy,??? he stressed.

Mr. Reid said that research conducted by the Ministry needed to be shared with farmers, and that the demonstration farm project was part of the process of changing the mindset of people about agriculture.

???We needed to open up to those people who will be directly involved, the stakeholders, the players in the agricultural sector. So, you will have farmers coming to see what are the latest techniques, you will have young people that we will be embracing ??? Also, being able to come up with a new culture in their mind about what agriculture is all about as it is just not about the fork and the hoe,??? he pointed out.

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