Agriculture on Barbuda is being secured in the most practical sense following a donation from the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) last week.
The IICA handed over a set of fencing wires to the Barbuda Council to secure five acres of farm lands.
Acting Director of Agriculture, Gregory Bailey said this is an important investment towards food security on the sister isle, especially during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
“Often, when you speak of food security you speak of the production aspects but, however, part of the security is to physically secure those productions. So, not withstanding the impact of Covid-19, this investment provides an economic security for the farmers, because we have praedial larceny issues also and this fence will help with the deterrent of such, and also livestock damage. In addition to that there is a food safety component where the physical security of the goods is concerned so again, I would like to thank IICA for this worthwhile investment,” Bailey said.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Colin O’Keiffe spoke on the significance of the EC $3,000 donation.
“This whole idea of food security is increasingly important as a result of the global pandemic and also the importance of being as self sufficient as possible and creating that habit of producing vegetable production and we are happy to contribute in whatever shape or form that we could. We are hoping that these very important rolls of wire will be put to good use,” he said.
Agriculture chairman for the Barbuda Council, Devon Warner accepted the fencing supplies on behalf of the agency.
The inputs are part of a technical cooperation project entitled “Strengthening the Agriculture sector in Antigua and Barbuda through the provision of inputs and supplies to support small scale farmers.”
The project will support the Barbuda Council, the Veterinary and Livestock Station and the Extension Division where 25 small farmers will be beneficiaries.
IICA’s representative, Craig Thomas says IICA will continue to provide supplies to farmers in other districts utilizing its Covid-19 response fund.