Minister of Agriculture, Food and Nutritional Security, Indar Weir, and spiritual master and yoga guru, Sadhguru Jagadish Vasudev, sign the MOU in the presence of Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley and soca super star Machel Montano, at Ilaro Court yesterday. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

Government has shown that it is committed to preventing further soil degradation and improving Barbados’ soil quality to ensure food and ecological security for all citizens with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Save Soil.

Save Soil is a global movement aimed at addressing the soil crisis by inspiring people all over the world to advocate for good soil health.

The instrument was signed by Minister of Agriculture, Food and Nutritional Security, Indar Weir, and spiritual master and yoga guru, Sadhguru Jagadish Vasudev, in the presence of Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley; soca super star Machel Montano; other government officials, and representatives of the Conscious Planet Initiative at Ilaro Court yesterday.

Ms. Mottley told the gathering that discussions had been ongoing to come up with ways to tackle the island’s soils and water scarcity situation for more than two years.

She intimated that the situation, worsened by the climate crisis, could be “staved off” with the provision of adequate resources to implement corrective measures.

“One of the reasons why I am humanly sensitive as well is that I co-chair the One Health Global Initiative with the Prime Minister of Bangladesh on the whole question of Antimicrobial Resistance and its use in humans, as well as in livestock and in chemicals that we use in plants. When you get the run-off from it into the water system, we are doubly affected,” the Prime Minister stated.

She added: “So, we call it the slow motion pandemic because it’s happening right before our very eyes, and regrettably, the absence of attention and…the kind of investment to solve the issue has not been put in place and that is why the conversations need to take place.” 

Ms. Mottley noted that the social and economic threats of the climate crisis needed to be addressed now before 2030, when it is predicted that almost half of the world’s population would be living in water-stressed areas. “If we don’t make the decisions that we need to make and if we don’t do the things now, we will not reach there safely. 

From left to right: spiritual master and yoga guru, Sadhguru Jagadish Vasudev; soca super star Machel Montano; Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley; and Minister of Agriculture, Food and Nutritional Security, Indar Weir, pose for a photo following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Save Soil. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

“And in a very clear way that is what I am speaking to the country about tomorrow (Monday) afternoon. This whole conversation is very timely because it’s time to change the generations of citizens who have come to believe that everything is instantaneous and immediate…,” she stated.

Mr. Vasudev offered a number of suggestions on how agriculture officials in Barbados and the region could achieve healthy soils.  He recommended a re-look of some agricultural practices and a greater focus on the soil and the types of crops that can be grown here.

He also advised officials to employ crop diversification methods by district to determine which crops grew best based on particular soil types.

Mr. Vasudev pledged to lend his expertise to assist Government in its efforts to improve soils and crop production, or any other techniques in agriculture.

The Prime Minister lauded Mr. Montano’s partnership with Save Soil, pointing out that it would go a long way to assist governments in getting the message across to the global audience.

The Conscious Planet initiative is a long-term global plan to raise awareness and inspire responsible human environmental action.

julie.carrington@barbados.gov.bb

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