Headmaster pleased with efforts to restore agriculture sector on Barbuda

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The rehabilitation of the greenhouse at Sir McChesney George Secondary School and the addition of a hydroponics system is an upgrade to what existed at the school prior to Hurricane Irma.
That was the view expressed yesterday by John Mussington, principal of the lone secondary school on Barbuda.
Four regional and international agricultural agencies are collaborating on three separate projects to restore Barbuda’s agricultural sector using climate-smart technology.
The organisations are Garden Pool, Pasture Management, the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA).
“The Garden Pool system is an upgrade of what we know can work for Barbuda. The big plus there is that it does not require the amount of intense energy in terms of electricity, and it also gives us the ability to pull more crops into it,” Mussington said.
“Having that at the school will give us a perfect opportunity to further our philosophy of making sure that the children of Barbuda can have hands-on experience in terms of agriculture.”
Mussington also descri-bed the intervention as timely, outlining the fact that aquaponics was pioneered in Barbuda by students at the school, working in tandem with the Barbuda Research Complex in
2013.
However, in 2014 the programme was hampered by a prolonged power outage and further setbacks came when the hurricane struck Barbuda in September, 2017.
“It is important that we get back on track and improve the technology with the help of Garden Pools. Their technology is a simple one and it is going to include solar energy as well,” Mussington said.
Sir McChesney George Secondary School was one among six schools in the Caribbean that were recognised by IICA in 2016 for taking a step forward in adapting to and making efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change.
Through a competition entitled, “Climate-Smart Agriculture: Stories from Farmers in the Eastern Caribbean States, students at the school had to demonstrate success stories exemplifying how the use of alternative agricultural practices and technologies can help make the Caribbean agricultural sector climate-smart.
Mussington revealed that Agricultural Science is a core part of the school’s curriculum.
He further indicated that proceeds from the school’s farm will help to supplement the operation of the educational institution as well as supply eggs for local Barbudans.

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