Author Archives: GARDC Admin

Kid Unlimited School Visits GARD Center Hydroponics

Two teachers of Grades 4 and 5 along with over 30 students from the Kids Unlimited School visited the GARD Center and its Hydroponics Unit on Wednesday, 4 March, 2020.

Mr. Ika Fergus, Extension Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture delivered a presentation on Hydroponics, which was very well received by the children.  During this tour they were able to see firsthand how lettuce is grown using this medium.  They were also able to receive a head of lettuce.

Thanks to Kids Unlimited School for being a part of our campaign to spearhead the ‘Hydroponics movement’ under the Sandals Foundation ‘Climate-Smart Agriculture Project Combating Effects of Climate Change’ on the local Agricultural Sector.

Press Release:Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects

The Gilbert Agricultural and Rural Development Center (GARD Center) receives grant funding from its partner the Government of Japan, through its Embassy in Trinidad and Tobago, at a Signing Ceremony on Thursday, January 23, 2020 at the Gilbert Agro-Heritage Nature Center, Mercers Creek.

We are pleased to announce that the amount of this funding is USD$89,629 through Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) under the 2019 financial year.

Once again “Thank You” to the Embassy of Japan, for its mandate to help in building the hospitality industry through training for the vulnerable youth in Antigua and Barbuda.

Press Release: 14 Students Complete Climate Smart Agricultural Course

Fourteen (14) young persons have just completed a 10 week Climate Smart Agricultural Course at the Gilbert Agricultural and Rural Development (GARD) Center a program under the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas; in collaboration with its donor partner Sandals Foundation Jamaica. In addition, the GARD Center received technical assistance from CARDI, IICA and the Agricultural Extension Division with trainers. The Ministry of Education also assisted with allowing some of their School Farm Attendants to participate.

In this Century when it is critical that all sectors strive to take action in protecting this environment and reversing some of the damages that have occurred over the years, Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) which promotes sustainable farming practices is the way to go to increase resilience against droughts, torrential rains and changing growing seasons. CSA is a management system that identifies the risks created by climate change and poses solutions through best farming practices.

With a special focus on hydroponics, the trainees were guided through a wealth of subject areas which included water conservation, integrated pest management, composting and mulching, drip irrigation, constructing hydroponic units, use of ICT in agriculture, business management, raising small ruminants in a CSA environment, and many more areas including life skills.

The next set of courses to be launched by the GARD Center/Sandals Foundation Jamaica partnership includes Hydroponics for Women Backyard Gardeners and Solar Panel Installation Assistant Technician. Other courses such as Tour Guiding, Office Administration, Remarkable Hospitality/Customer Service, and ICT are also starting soon.

Call 463-4121/562-0084 for further information.  

Hydroponics Course at the Gilbert Agricultural and Rural Development (GARD) Center

Fifteen (15) school Farm Attendants from the Ministry of Education’s Agricultural Science Unit just recently completed a one week course in Hydroponics at the Gilbert Agricultural and Rural Development (GARD) Center.  This course is is a part of a wider Climate Smart Agricultural Project in partnership with the Sandals Foundation Jamaica and collaborative efforts from The Agricultural Extension Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, CARDI and IICA. The main objective is to empower youth to be aware of the contributions they can make in the agriculture sector for a better future, especially through the application of climate-smart practices in agriculture and combat climatic risks while enhancing livelihoods.

According to researchers the hydroponics technology works well for Climate Smart Agriculture because of the water conservation and farm integration advantages as well as being a potentially more sustainable method of food production. It uses 90% less water and soil as compared to traditional agricultural methods of production

These Farm Attendants learnt the fundamentals of hydroponics, the various types of systems, production and management of crops grown hydroponically and the actual construction of a demonstration unit.  Mr. Ika Fergus, Extension Officer  facilitated the sessions and will be assisting the GARD Center along with CARDI  in conducting a number of other activities in the project i.e. a ten week Climate Smart Agricultural course for youth, and an evening hydroponics  course for women doing backyard gardening.

GARD Center 5th Annual Farm to Table 2019

GARD Center 5th Annual Farm to Table Benefit Luncheon and Awards Ceremony recently concluded on Saturday April 6th, 2019 by all feedback was the best so far!!!

Farm to Table 2019 in its fifth year catered to approximately 300 guests who enjoyed a lovely sunny afternoon under the stately Willow trees and tasted the many creative local dishes produced by some of the top chefs in the country. Under the patronage of the Governor General, Sir  Rodney Williams and the Premier Sponsors, James and Maginley Charity and Care Foundation; L A Development Company Ltd, Chefs from Goddard Catering Group (Antigua) Ltd, Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa, Oetker Collection (Jumby Bay Hotel), Galley Bay Antigua, Trade Winds Hotel, Curtain Bluff Resort, and Flavas Restaurant & Bar along with Agricultural producers came together to produce an amazing buffet style luncheon. Patrons were greeted with souvenir/tokens and welcome drinks.

GARD Center wishes to sincerely thank its faithful Patrons and Clientele who continue to support our fundraising efforts as we endeavour to fulfill our mandate; “Strengthen the weak hands and make firm the feeble knees” Isaiah 35:3