CARDI, IICA invest in local bee keeping industry

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The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) have invested U.S. $5,000 in the local Bee Keeping industry, through the donation of equipment.
The equipment was handed over to Arthur Nibbs, minister of agriculture, during a ceremony at the ministry’s headquarters yesterday.
A significant portion of the material, $3,000 worth, will be sent to Barbuda for local farmers there, while the remaining portion will be utilised by beekeepers in Antigua.
Both agencies have been partnering on several projects, as part of efforts to restore the agriculture sector in Barbuda, which was devastated during the passage of Hurricane Irma last September.
Craig Thomas, national specialist for IICA, said the team will return to the sister island next week to continue the work there.
“We will be there for about three to four days, we will continue to monitor and evaluate the activities which we have already implemented. We will also be hosting three capacity-building workshops at the Sir McChesney George Secondary for Farmers and workers who are employed with the Barbuda Council,” Thomas said.
According to the IICA representative, since the passage of the Category 5 storm, both agencies have invested over U.S. $200,000 in material and labour for the agricultural sector in Barbuda.
They have placed special emphasis on re-developing the plant based side of the sector, small ruminants and livestock farmers, the rehabilitation of the greenhouse at the secondary school on Barbuda and now beekeepers.
Paul Lucas, the local CARDI representative for Antigua and Barbuda, said the team will also be aiming to further develop the beekeeping industry on Barbuda.
The agriculture stakeholders have indicated that the honey that is generated in Barbuda has a unique taste and texture.
“CARDI has gone ahead to order the labels and will be developing those labels specific to Barbuda, recognising that the honey is of a certain quality and it is an area which could generate more interest,” Lucas said.
Hurricane Irma caused extreme destruction on Barbuda and forced the island’s entire population to be evacuated.

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