A re-imagined Barbuda would see the embracing of a more modern approach to agriculture as the government looks to balance development and nature’s bounty after reconstruction of the decimated island.
Minister of Agriculture, Arthur Nibbs, expressed the view at the 71st Special Ministerial Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) on Agriculture, held on Friday, 6 October at the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana.
The minister told the conference that achieving food security is a priority for the Antigua and Barbuda government and it would entail pursuing a vision that embraces new perspectives to face the challenges from climate change and the aspiration for food security.
“The overarching intent is to establish in Barbuda, over the next five years, an agro-industrial complex inclusive of production, processing, storage, packaging and marketing. Both state and private enterprises would be involved,” he said.
On the cards is a 60-acre development at Highlands which would include solar-powered smart greenhouses. Other plans include irrigated open field production of high priced vegetables, herbs and spices, fruits and peanuts.
Nibbs also revealed that they intended to set up a 250-acre coconut industry at Sand Ground which will also house a 100-acre plot of food crops. An agro-processing plant and a demonstration and training centre for the transfer of technology are also to be established.
Nibbs outlined that traditional fisheries and honey industries are slated to be expanded while small ruminant development and poultry development are earmarked for schools and private farms.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)