CARDI team members Paul Lucas and Bradbury Brown were part of a mission consisting of representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs (MALFBA), the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), the media and private sector to assess the damage caused by hurricane Irma to Barbuda’s agriculture sector. The team visited the ravaged island on 28 September and focused their efforts on the Sir McChesney George Secondary School Agriculture Science Program, the Highlands Agriculture District, Sand Ground Station and Local Producer Cooperatives.
They reported significant infrastructural damage, widespread loss of poultry, livestock and farming tools. In some areas the team reported the total destruction of cultivated crops and planting material.
CARDI’s effort to rebuild the sector will be complementary to the vision articulated by the Honourable, Arthur Nibbs, Minister of Agriculture, Lands, Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs at the 71st Special Ministerial Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) on Agriculture, held on 6th October, 2017 at the CARICOM Secretariat.
Minister Nibbs in his statement said a “Green island concept” will be adopted to rebuild the sector focusing on improving resilience and confronting the challenges of food insecurity. The programmes and activities will pivot on alternative energy, organic agriculture, protected agriculture, small ruminant development, agro-processing, construction of smart greenhouses and the expansion of the honey and fisheries industries among other areas.