Meet the finalist for the Junior Chef Cook Off Competition 2023. To be held Monday, 4th December, 3:00-7:00 pm at the Antigua and Barbuda Hospitality Institute.
For more details, contact the ABHTA office at 462.0374/4928.
For the planet; for the people‘ – the theme for the Closing Symposium of the IICA-CBF EbA project.
Contact June Jackson, GARD Center 463-4121 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The GARD Center has partnered with the Department of Environment for the sale of mosquito traps and glue pads in order to make them available to the public for purchase.
Welcome to Entrepreneurship World Cup Antigua and Barbuda 2022 Virtual Pitch Competition. The Gilbert Agricultural and Rural Development Center (GARD Center) was selected to be the National Host by COESL and Global Entrepreneurship Network Caribbean.
Antigua and Barbuda will be participating in this Global Competition, which provides an unique opportunity for the island to showcase some of our best innovative entrepreneurs.
The Center is pleased to have received a generous donation from ACB Caribbean for this very worthy venture.
Joyanne Byers, Senior Manager, Finance & Accounting at ACB Caribbean, presented XCD 3,000.00 to Executive Director June M. Jackson and Judy Dease-Richards, Life Skills Tutor / Business Development Assistant of GARD Center at ACB Caribbean’s Headquarters on St. Mary’s and Thames Streets, St. John’s, on Friday, 29 July, 2022.
11 Finalists will each have 3 minutes to show us why they should be the National Winner of Entrepreneurship World Cup Antigua and Barbuda 2022.
GARD Center salutes the Mill Reef Fund on its 75th Anniversary for all of the incredible work it has committed to and achieved in Antigua and Barbuda. During these years the Center has been tremendously blessed by the generosity of the Fund which has allowed it to positively meet the needs of our clientele, the vulnerable in its community (At-risk Youth and Women) and the mandate to train.
When COVID-19 arrived on the shores of Antigua and Barbuda in March 2020, the country was placed under complete lockdown by the government and health protocols were enforced. Many people, especially women and youth in the workforce were severely displaced. The Mill Reef Fund contributed significantly to the retraining and re-tooling of persons residing in this twin island state. As the government slowly allowed for the reopening of the Country internally with its citizens/ residents and its borders to the wider community, many people, especially in the Hospitality industry were out of work and experienced hardships in feeding themselves and their families.
The GARD Center saw this as an opportunity to offer training and /or retraining to members of various communities. This mission was fulfilled by grant funds received from the Mill Reef Fund to conduct Climate Smart Agriculture courses with focus on Backyard Gardening and Hydroponics; as well as, Sewing Courses for Beginners. These courses were selected because the unemployed could quickly learn a skill and earn an income. Different Cohorts of training had to be undertaken to observe the rapidly changing Health Protocols. 47 Participants graduated from the CSA training courses (26 M, 21 F). One female has started her own Hydroponics farm and sells her produce. She has also developed other products from the harvesting of her backyard garden. (pepper sauce, etc.). Her husband works closely with her and now constructs hydroponic units for sale.
49 Participants completed the Beginners Sewing courses with 47 F and 2 M graduating. A 27-year old male who graduated has continued to develop his sewing skills and is now enrolled at Antigua and Barbuda Institute of Continuing Education (ABICE). This gentleman designed and created the Wedding dress for this year’s annual ABS Valentine Wedding ceremony.
Many of the graduates continue to flourish with their knowledge honed and are able to earn an income.
In addition, in 2020, the Mill Reef Fund provided Care Packages to 50 graduates of the Center (single mothers) for 6 months. This benevolent gesture was extremely well received by all.
The Mill Reef Fund continued to serve this nation in 2021 when funding was received by the GARD Center to conduct Remarkable Hospitality and Customer Service Training as well as Basic Baking, Decorating and Food Preparation Courses. A total of 18 people graduated, (14 F and 4 M).
Sincere thanks to the Mill Reef Fund for partnering with our Center in its delivery and upliftment of the Youth of this nation.
For More information on the Mill Reef Fund visit:
Mill Reef Fund | Improving the lives of the people of Antigua and Barbuda since 1948
Issue Description: In terms of project execution, the month of March was particularly pivotal. It represented both the end of the second year and start of the third and final year of the IICA-CBF EbA project. It also hosted a critical in-country mission of the IICA Soil and Water team to train farmers and technicians on Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) and Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) using a soil-centric approach, while simultaneously planning for the much anticipated training for the communities themselves to be able to operate community drone kits to collect data and monitor project sites. .
Link to the Newsletter: IICA CBF EbA Newsletter Issue #5 -March 2022
The IICA-CBF Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) Project seeks to assist beneficiary Caribbean countries in their efforts to maintain and increase resilience and reduce the vulnerability of ecosystems and people in the face of the adverse effects of climate change.
“Climate Smart Agriculture for Youth – Hydroponics: The Gilbert Agricultural and Rural Development Center (GARD Center) has been awarded the above-mentioned project, and the contract was signed on 3 December 2021, in the amount of US$15,000.00. The Center is truly grateful for this timely donation and the opportunity to partner with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The major aim of this project is to ensure the integration of sustainable livelihoods in the face of climate change. This Course is geared to train 10 persons between the ages of 17 – 35 years with CSA techniques in mulching; composting; no-dig beds, etc. In addition these participants will have the opportunity to go on Field visits to see how established gardeners operate. The participants will also get to construct mini-hydroponic units which can be used as either a Deep Water Culture (DWC) or Kratky unit. A Business component will also be taught, with the anticipation that the soon-to-be Backyard Farmers would be in a position to provide quality food for not only their families but also to the community.
Once again, the GARD Center would like to thank the UNDP for investing in the improvement of Livelihoods of the Vulnerable Youth in Antigua and Barbuda.”
The GARD Center continues to thank the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) for its support in the training of Women in Climate Smart Agricultural technologies with a focus on hydroponics and the blanching and freezing of vegetables in preparation for the dry season and the shortage of food.
This project has become increasingly more vital and timely as the year 2021 continued to unfold, with the delay in the supply chain universally. Things worsened for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) at the turn of the year 2022 with the rumours of war, between Russia and Ukraine. It seemed as though the world’s focus almost forgot about the COVID-19 pandemic which had thrown most of the world in a tailspin from early 2020, (and continues) with lockdowns and supply interruptions.
Although by the first quarter of 2022, government restrictions have slowly been lifted in Antigua and Barbuda, with the business sector starting to re-open, some women have still not been able to return to full time employment in the service industry due to the reduction of occupancy in many hotels and the cruise ship sector mainly operating at 50%. The CFLI has been instrumental as the backbone of developing backyard garden plots and a demonstration hydroponic unit for trainees to get hands-on practice during this aspect of the training. A few crops have been pre-planted for the Blanching and Freezing component of the course, etc.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues with various strains circulating; and health protocols put in place continue to change constantly, the actual start of the training component had to be deferred on several occasions. The training course has started. Over the 25 women who showed interest in training in 2021, when the protocols ‘settled’ and training was ready to begin in January 2022, the Center had to delay the start date due to some women having restarted work during the day and would then have prefered evening sessions. The recruitment drive continued.