Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Indar Weir, on Friday reminded Barbadians that “close to 750 million persons were exposed to severe levels of food insecurity”.
He made those comments at a presentation of produce by the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the Ministry to three entities, at its headquarters at Graeme Hall, Christ Church, as part of activities to mark World Food Day, October 16.
This comment was followed by the question: “How do we increase food security in an environment with limited availability of water?”
Providing a response, Weir noted that his Ministry, in collaboration with the Barbados Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation, was embarking on a Water Augmentation Programme, which would “provide irrigation water supply to farmers, in order to achieve the goal of increased agricultural production”.
He further stressed: “In Barbados, and certainly at the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, we are committed to doing our part on the global agenda. With this in mind, we are strengthening our linkages with our partners like FAO and forging new ones to ensure that every Barbadian’s right to safe and nutritious food is fulfilled.”
Meanwhile, National Programme Consultant, Stephen Alleyne, noting that food and the access to food was critical, said the FAO was hosting a number of initiatives across the region to mark World Food Day.
He also pointed out that the FAO had made the conscientious decision to partner and really share in the initiative to assist the charitable organisation “as they reach those who are underprivileged among us, but are equally worthy”.
Elaborating, he said: “This is very important. Because you are underprivileged doesn’t mean or shouldn’t mean that you wouldn’t have or shouldn’t have access to food. They are equally important because every life matters. And they are reaching out to these people in our community, helping them to have healthy and nutritious meals…. We think that this is one of the ways in which we can really impact our communities; we can impact lives of persons by giving….”
The three entities which received donations were: The Barbados Alliance to End Homelessness, Street Lamp Ministries, and the Child Care Board.