MacDonald Stevenson (right)??shows Dr. David Estwick, Minister of Agriculture; his ultra-modern diary farm, yesterday in St. Lucy. (A.Skeete/BGIS)

Officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management, led by Minister, Dr. David Estwick, traded in the comfort of their offices for the outdoors yesterday as they took part in a half-day tour, one of the activities for World Food Day 2011.

World Food Day was observed last, Sunday, October 16, under the theme Food Prices: From Crisis to Stability.

The outing gave the groups a firsthand look at some of the new and exciting initiatives being undertaken by local farmers and businesses which could be beneficial to the agricultural sector, particularly the improvement of local crop production and the reduction of?? waste.

The delegation also learned how the introduction of modern technology to local farms, such as the use of solar energy, could improve production and save energy.??????

Vaucluse, St. Thomas was the first stop on the tour as the officials visited the Sustainable Barbados Recycling Centre Inc. The recycling plant uses household and other waste material to make various products including green waste mulch, coconut and wood mulch and wood chips.

Sustainable Barbados Recycling Centre’s General Manager, Anthony Parris, explains the recycling process to Minister of Agriculture, Dr. David Estwick during the World Food Day Tour yesterday. (A. Skeete/BGIS)

Dr. Estwick and his team learned how the local mulch could be advantageous to crop growth and how farmers could use such organic materials to improve their soil and crops at a lower cost.

St. Lucy was the next stop for the touring party as they visited the dairy farm of MacDonald Stevenson, a model of a modern and efficient facility.?? The farm is equipped to recycle solids from animal waste for use in the field to cut costs and aid in production.

The delegation also travelled to Spring Hall, St. Lucy to get an update on the Land Lease Project which is run by the Barbados Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (BADMC). The project involves the leasing of land to farmers for vegetable production.

The final stop on the tour was the farm of Canadian Sylvie Brouillet at Bawden, St. Andrew. Ms. Brouillet, a small farmer, has employed solar technology and harvests rain water to reduce the cost of production on her farm.

The group was given a scenic tour of the St. Andrew facility and heard about Ms. Brouillet’s use of solar energy to power her farm and household.


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