From left: BECT Executive Director Ché Greenidge, an IICA representative, Chief Agricultural Officer Keely Holder and Allister Glean, Representative for IICA in Barbados.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados--The Barbados Environmental Conservation Trust in collaboration with the Inter-American Institute for Co-operation on Agriculture (IICA) and Scotiabank Barbados recently launched the FarmABLE Livelihoods for Persons with Disabilities Project, which aims to ensure persons with disabilities can contribute to their overall food security.
The project, funded by Scotiabank Barbados and the Barbados Environmental Conservation Trust (BECT), was launched at the Challenor Creative Arts and Training Centre and will allow students from their school as well as the Ann Hill School and the Derrick Smith School & Vocational Centre to learn about aquaponics and rabbitry.
BECT Executive Director Ché Greenidge said that the project seeks to empower members of the disabled community as they need more opportunities to aid their socio-economic development.
“BECT is very proud to be not only a supporter but a co-founder of this project. Our organisation is passionate about providing opportunities for persons with disabilities through projects like FarmABLE, because we know how important it is to the members of this community to increase their knowledge and confidence [and – Ed.] provide a sense of empowerment and independence that will carry through to other areas of their lives and into brighter futures for each of the participants,” she said.
Dr. Roxanne Waithe, Technical Specialist at the IICA Delegation in Barbados, highlighted the value and timeliness of the exercise.
“The disabled are key members of our society and it is critical to have them fully integrated into self-sustaining activity. This project will ensure that participants are well equipped and transformed,” she said.
Allister Glean, Representative for IICA in Barbados, said the programme aims to be aligned with the work of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food and Nutritional Security (MAFANS). He hoped it would create entrepreneurs and contributors to national food security.
Chief Agricultural Officer Keely Holder said the MAFANS was pleased to partner with IICA, BECT and Scotiabank Barbados as they work together to improve food security.
“This is a very exciting project. IICA has been working closely with the ministry in looking at ways to improve community and household food security in Barbados. We not only promote food security at the national level, where farmers produce for the entire nation, but where there is also an opportunity for agriculture to also blossom and bloom within the household at the community level,” she said.
Senior Manager and Team Lead for Scotiabank Offshore Banking Unit in Barbados, Lana Fingall, whose company also provided major funding support for the project, said Scotiabank Barbados recognises the challenges that the members of the disabled community have, and so they aim to do their part.
“Youth with disabilities face the same issues and concerns as those without disabilities, but societal prejudices, barriers and ignorance can complicate and intensify these concerns. Through our partnership with the Barbados Environmental Conservation Trust and by extension its partners, we are pleased we can offer youth with disabilities greater opportunities to learn and enhance their capabilities in terms of environmental conservation and food sustainability through projects focused on aquaponics, rabbit and poultry rearing and sustainable agriculture systems for crop production,” she said. ~ Barbados TODAY ~