Category Archives: Agriculture

Gilbert Agro-heritage Nature Center – RELAUNCHING 2014!!

Early in the New Year the GARD Center plans to have its Nature Center fully operational.
Various tours of the Nature Center can be organized to take you on a trip through beautiful gardens of flowers, flowering shrubs, trees and traditional herbs.  Exhibits will be found in the discovery room to provide interesting information in a fun way.
There will be an historic walk through time on our heritage trail for those trail enthusiasts.  The hike is one to three miles through the Gilbert dry limestone woodlands, highlighting the characteristic woodland ecology, plants and wildlife.  Other attractions will be a children’s garden and play area, local handicraft, soaps, condiments and other products for sale produced by the graduates of the GARD Center programmes.

EU Project – Monitoring Visit

Mr. Koen Rossel-Cambier, EU representative, visited the GARD Center on Wednesday, 13 November 2013.  He brought with him a local representative from the office of the NAO – Mrs. Juray Roberts.
They were introduced to the members of staff and tutors and both were given a tour of the facilities.  They also viewed first-hand a Weaving and Textile class which was in session.
–    Fruitful discussions included:
o   Project progress with emphasis on the results and their indicators as in the logical framework.
o   Project visibility and the visibility plan.
o   Preparation of the upcoming new disbursement request, with the accountant.

Mr. Rossel-Cambier was pleased to hear that the GARD Center is being considered to be an accredited CVQ Center.
The meeting ended with Mr. Rossel-Cambier taking some of GARD Center pamphlets and the promotional video and Mrs. Roberts stating their pleasure in meeting with the staff at the GARD Center.

Additional Recognition for the GARD Center

On Friday, 1 November 2013, during the 32nd Independence Ceremony of the Nation of Antigua and Barbuda, the Executive Director of the GARD Center, Mrs. Roberta Williams received the Grand Officer of the Most Illustrious Order of Merit (GOM).  This national award was for her work over the last twenty-four (24) years with youth and community development through the GARD Center.
Mrs. Williams was very humbled and became emotional as the Governor General, Dame Louise Lake-Tack,Roberta shakes GG's hand shook her hand in front of the hundreds of folks gathered at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds to view the proceedings.
Roberta, later emailed her staff to officially inform them of her award and wrote, “This award is for all of us, for all those who over the years have contributed to the growth of our Center and to all of you who are incredible. I cannot say thank you enough…  Thank you all again for your passion and support. May God bless you all and to Him all honor and glory.”
The staff of the GARD Center wish to congratulate the Executive Director on receiving this prestigious award, of which she is truly deserving.Roberta is embraced by GG-1Nov13

GARD Center Celebrates 24 Years of Existence

The Gilbert Agricultural and Rural Development Center (GARD Center) celebrates its 24th anniversary as a non-profit NGO in November 2013.
The Center wishes to sincerely thank all of its Friends and Well-wishers, Colleagues, Volunteers and Dedicated Staff who have worked tirelessly throughout the years to ensure that the Center is the premium training institution for youth and women in Antigua and Barbuda, that it is today.
During its 24 years of existence, the GARD Center has trained over 3000 persons in many diverse fields of interest, including  enterprise training, skills training in soap crafting, solar drying, tanning, backyard gardening, handicraft, tractor driving, yacht maintenance, plumbing, computer literacy, farming, farm tourism, agro-forestry, beekeeping, weaving of textiles, and many more.  The Center has also maintained outreach programs to meet the needs of special groups such as persons living with HIV/AIDS, unemployed women, youth at risk, persons living with disabilities, NGOs and community based groups (CBOs).   These programs have traditionally been for both young males and females.
Celebrate with us all throughout November and make a special donation to the UMC Giving Tuesday, 3 December 2013.
Click here to find out more. Donate

FAO Regional Meeting on Public Policies for Rural Women, Santo Domingo, October 2013

The GARD Center was invited by the FAO to present a summary of the situation of women in Antigua and Barbuda at the recently concluded Regional Meeting on Public Policies for Rural Women: Economic Independence, rights and fight against hunger.
The one day meeting focused on women in Latin America and the Caribbean and the need to set policies which affect rural women in the agriculture sector.  Much discussion was had on what a rural woman is, who should be considered a rural woman and the perimeters of rural zones.
Discussions were also held on the use of technology to improve agriculture and agricultural practices and the role governments need to play to assist rural women in agriculture.  Access to water, seeds and markets were all areas that were highlighted as being relevant to a rural woman’s success in agriculture.  These were considered areas in which the government could assist greatly.
The meeting ended with a cultural event showcasing the food, dance, music and culture of the Santo Dominican people.  It was a wonderful way to end the talks.
All in all, strides were made to ensure that measures are being taken to ensure the women’s place in Agriculture is improved throughout the region.
The Center was represented by Ms. Kareem Francis, Project Manager.

External Monitoring and Evaluation Consultant Required

Request for Proposals

Consultant with the International Youth Foundation to carry out a follow-up study of graduates of the Caribbean Youth Empowerment Program in Phase II, which was implemented by the Gilbert Agricultural & Rural Development Center in Antigua & Barbuda to train and place youth at risk in jobs.


The Caribbean Youth Empowerment Program (CYEP) was launched in 2008 by the International Youth Foundation (IYF) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to improve the job prospects of under-served youth in Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Jamaica, and Saint Lucia. The regional program offers market-driven training in areas such as life skills, information technology, remedial education, and vocational and entrepreneurship skills, along with internship opportunities and job placement services. The program also supports youth serving as positive agents of change in their communities through its service learning component. During Phase I, CYEP benefited 1,100 young people across the region through job training, job placement, and other services. During Phase II the program is focused on expanding the menu of services offered to include entrepreneurship and career guidance, reaching an additional 1,100 youth, and strengthening alliances with public and private stakeholders.
The program uses an information system developed by IYF to collect baseline data from all of the registered youth and exit data when youth leave the program or finish the training cycle.

Purpose of the Consultancy

A consultant or firm is sought to carry out a follow-up study of 59 youth graduating from the CYEP training offered by the GARD Center in November 2012-March 2013 to measure the changes in employment and educational status. The candidate must have demonstrated capacity and experience in: 1) designing and carrying out follow-up evaluations and studies and 2) knowledge of youth employability issues. Expected products include the complete dataset of follow-up data collected by the consultant and a report of the follow-up study written according to IYF guidelines. The consultancy is estimated to begin mid August and end no later than October.

Proposal Information

For proposal requirements and further information, please contact Rachel Bernstein, Program Coordinator, at Email:

Registrations now open for Gardening Technician

Check out our new TV advert about this exciting new course to be run at GARDC in June.

This course is available for unemployed or underemployed youths (you’d need to be at least 17 by October, and at most 25 at the time of application) with four CXCs or fewer.  More information at
Email us at or call on 463-4121 or 562-0084 to register.