Grow what you eat and eat what you grow. Once again, this is the advice given to school children in Barbados through the Regional Entrepreneurship and Agricultural Program (REAP) and the Rural Development Commission programme entitled: Grow what you eat.
The RDC and the United Nations Development Programme signed an agreement this morning aimed at getting more schools involved in growing food and seeing agriculture as a viable profession.
The document was signed at the RDC’s office on the 2nd Floor, NSR Grand Building, Bridge Street, St Michael, by National Coordinator of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme – UNDP, David Bynoe President and Chief Executive Officer of Youth Equip To Achieve (YEA,) Marsha Ann Clarke with the RDC’s Director Randolph Outram and Project Coordinator Andrea Titus.
After the signing, Minister of Housing, Lands and Rural Development Denis Kellman led a touring party, which visited six schools – Ellerton Primary and St George Secondary, St George; Deighton Griffith Secondary and St Bartholomew’s Primary, Christ Church; and Gordon Greenidge Primary, St Peter and Frederick Smith Secondary, St James where the students have set up tyre and pallet gardens.
Speaking at Ellerton Primary, Minister Kellman told members of the media he fully backed the initiative which could help reduce the island’s large import bill and [help alleviate] health problems.
“This is a program that I fully support and I believe once we continue, it can help the economic fortunes of Barbados. It is not agriculture for the sake of agriculture and [for] reducing the food bill and [providing] economic solutions, but we have to recognize there are also health solutions.”
Kellman stated that at certain times citizens have opted to consume more imported foods.
“It is rather interesting that prior to 1961, we knew how to provide the food supply of Barbados, but it appears that as we got educated we seem to [have adopted] a foreign taste that is not in the interest of Barbadians.”
National Coordinator of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme – UNDP, David Bynoe further explained the program “The program is amazing. Young people will learn not only to grow something but to market and sell, so we have that entrepreneurship component. The program looks at environment protection and embracing organic agriculture, but teaches the business of agriculture.