The Government of Barbados is committed to achieving greater levels of food and nutrition security on the island.

This assurance has come from Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management, Dr. David Estwick, who was speaking yesterday at the launch of the Ministry???s Food and Nutrition Security Media Campaign at its headquarters at Graeme Hall, Christ Church.

Launched under the theme ???Grow Well, Eat Well, Live Well, Right Here in Bim???, the three-year campaign complements the Barbados Food and Nutrition Security Policy and Action Plan.

Dr. Estwick said that Government had moved to undertake an implementation and development plan of its Food and Nutrition Security Policy and Action Plan, after endorsing the CARICOM Regional Food and Nutrition Security Policy in 2010 and Action Plan in 2011. The Minister revealed that the plan, which would be implemented for a 5-year period, had been submitted to Cabinet for approval.

The overall strategic objective of the Barbados Food and Nutrition Security Policy and Action Plan is to achieve the optimum degree of self-reliance that contributes to food and nutrition security. It will use a strategy that aims to maximize domestic food production, utilising indigenous raw materials and domestic human and naturals resources, and ensure that all households have sufficient resources and knowledge at all times to access adequate, safe, affordable and nutritious foods.

During the campaign???s first year, the focus will be on the ???Grow Well??? aspect, and the Ministry has launched the ???Grow Well School Gardening Competition???, which is geared towards primary and secondary schools. ???We cannot emphasise enough the importance of encouraging the youth to become involved in agriculture and to see the benefits of growing what we eat ???

???In order to achieve a satisfactory level of food security, we must be prepared to find new ways of doing old things, to improve on the skills and creativity of our forefathers through research, innovation and new technologies. This would go a long way in addressing the changes and challenges we encounter, such as climate change, declining food production, increased dependence on food imports, increased cost of local production, declining competitiveness of local agricultural products and increased use of unhealthy foods,??? Minister Estwick stated.

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