Single Mother’s Care Package Initiative

GARD Center through its partnership and generous donation of the Mill Reef Fund continues distribution of its Single Mother’s Care Package initiative. On August 6th, 2020 fifty (50) mothers received their monthly packages as volunteers of the Center worked the day before to ensure the packages are ready for collection. These packages included the basic food items and necessities to provide for themselves and their children after becoming unemployed by the COVID -19 pandemic.

The expression of sentiments and the appreciative look on the faces of these mothers was heartwarming. Through the words of one of the mothers who wishes Mill Reef Fund to know how grateful they are said, “You made a huge impact on my life and that of my family in this very difficult time. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”

Once again GARD Center Staff and Board of Directors express thanks to the Mill Reef Fund for their continued support, donation, and empowerment as we assist our Youth, men and Women in Antigua and Barbuda.

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.