The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security is to present a paper on its Food Enfranchisement and Empowerment Drive (FEED) programme to Cabinet tomorrow.
Minister, Indar Weir, made the announcement today, following a tour of the hydroponics farm at Halton Plantation, Halton, St. Philip.
The FEED programme is to be managed by the Barbados Agricultural and Development Marketing Corporation (BADMC), and according to Minister Weir, not only is it expected to heighten agricultural production in Barbados, but also provide increased market access for local farmers.
“We have entered into discussions with the BADMC to manage the entire programme, so when the farmers produce they then have a ready market to offload, and then the BADMC would be responsible for working with the School Meals Department, the Ministry of Health, hoteliers…taking full advantage of government’s procurement and being able to move the produce,” he explained.
The Minister added that systems have already been put in place to give farmers access to vehicles post-harvest, so that they can transport their produce.
He was also confident that the FEED programme would lead to an “upsurge” in the number of people being involved in agriculture, as it would also provide training for those currently in and interested in agriculture.
Additionally, Minister Weir was optimistic that it would aid in the reduction of the food import bill.