The Sandals Foundation sponsored 20 persons in Climate Smart Agriculture for Youth with Hydroponics and saw 14 successful participants who received training. The course started on 30th May 2022 and sessions were held every Monday – Wednesday from 5:00 – 7:30 p.m. at GARD Center.
part of the training encouraged participants to engage in practical, hands-on
training. In addition, field visits were made to Hydroponics Farms and Backyard
Gardens. The practical components of the course encouraged persons to construct
raised beds and a Mini Hydroponics Unit as part of a Start-Up Kit. Another part
of the practical sessions encouraged participants to engaged in planting seeds
as well as transplanting seedlings into raised beds.
The course ended with a Completion Ceremony on Wednesday 31st August 2022 at GARD Center and the participants received a Mini Hydroponics and Backyard Garden Start-Up Kit with other complimentary tools to assist with their Backyard Gardening and Hydroponics journey.
Hydroponic Programme to Strengthen Community Food Production and Livelihood
GARD Center (Gilbert Agricultural and Rural Development Center) is a grassroot
non-profit, non-government organization which operates under the auspices of
the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas (MCCA). The Center
is very pleased to announce its continuous partnership with the Sandals
Foundation through its funding of the “Climate Smart Agriculture For Youth-
the past thirty-two (32) years, the Center has been working arduously with
at-risk youth, men and women in the community to engage them in various forms
of sustainable agriculture for the 21st century.
a primary focus of raising climate smart agriculture practices amongst young
people towards long term food security, the Climate Smart Agriculture for Youth
– Hydroponic programme seeks to:
Create awareness of the present and future
threats related to climate change and agriculture.
Make youth 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, during this
Train a total of 20 youth in hydroponics
Build the capacity of participants to
construct a hydroponic unit and provide a starter kit to include seeds,
rockwool and a water pump.
programme support forms part of the Sandals Foundation’s 40 sustainable
community projects being executed across the Caribbean to commemorate its
parent company’s 40th anniversary. Through its broad scale
investment in a number of farming and agriculture educational programmes, the
philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts seeks to strengthen the Caribbean’s food
security and livelihood opportunities.
About the Sandals Foundation
The Sandals Foundation is the philanthropic arm of
Sandals Resorts International (SRI), the Caribbean’s leading family-owned
resort company. The 501(c)(3) non-profit organization was created to
continue and expand upon the charitable work that Sandals Resorts International
has undertaken since its founding in 1981 to play a meaningful role in the
lives of the communities where SRI operates throughout the Caribbean. The
Sandals Foundation funds projects in three core areas: education, community and
the environment. One hundred percent of the monies contributed by the
general public to the Sandals Foundation go directly to programs
benefiting the Caribbean community. To learn more
about the Sandals Foundation, visit online at www.sandalsfoundation.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
partnership is in collaboration with the Agricultural Extension Division of the
Ministry of Agriculture, Inter-American Institute
for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA). The GARD Center will
expand its Climate Smart Agriculture programme that focuses on Hydroponics
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.