Donor, Eddie Edghill (right) of Dukes Plantation initialing the document under the watchful eye of his wife Vanessa; while Principal and Pro-Vice Chancellor of UWI, Cave Hill Campus, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles also peruses the document with Minister of Agriculture, Dr. David Estwick. (A. Gaskin/BGIS)

Barbados has taken another step towards the development of a food secure future with the launch of the proposed University of the West Indies (UWI) Centre for Food Security and Entrepreneurship in St. Thomas.

This morning’s ceremony saw the transfer of land from the Edghill family of Dukes Plantation to the UWI for the project, which will assist in the promotion of research and training on sustainable food production and entrepreneurship in agriculture in Barbados.??

And, Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management, Dr. David Estwick, noted that such a venture was timely as it coincided with work being carried out by his ministry to reposition the local sector and promote the production of healthy food for Barbadians.

"As a result of the generosity of the Edghill family, the UWI has been placed in a position to promote sustainable agriculture which will be research driven and which will impact positively upon the ability of our youth to seriously pursue careers in the science of agriculture and food production", he said.

Donors, Eddie and Vanessa Edghill of Dukes Plantation unveiling the plaque to mark the transfer of land to UWI while Minister of Education, Ronald Jones; Principal and Pro-Vice Chancellor of UWI, Cave Hill Campus, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles; and Minister of Agriculture, Dr. David Estwick (far left) look on. (A. Gaskin/BGIS)

Dr. Estwick stressed that with Barbados designated a food insecure nation, it was critical to develop an educated class of agriculturalists.

"We must inculcate in our youth the importance of the new technology in agriculture so that their knowledge and skills could be harnessed for the benefit of our countries," he declared.

The Agriculture Minister also offered the Ministry’s support by providing technical expertise to the UWI, adding that Barbados as a small country should not let its size prevent it from yearning for excellence in science and technology.

Donor, Eddie Edghill, lamented that sound knowledge and proper training in the discipline of agriculture has been lacking in Barbados for some time and he believed that the development and use of the site would assist the country tremendously in this regard.

He gave his full support behind efforts to further training and research in agriculture.

"Not many persons in management positions in agriculture even today hold certification, qualifications or training in the subject of agriculture. I also think the time in our country’s development has come when persons in management and leadership positions in the sugar industry in Barbados should have a background in training in the discipline in agriculture. Likewise, the various levels of workers in agriculture are also in need of training to increase the very quality of our product," Mr. Edghill noted.


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