Tag Archives: IICA

GARD Center Hydroponic Programme for Strengthened Food Production – sponsored by Sandals Foundation

News Release

Youth Hydroponic Programme to Strengthen Community Food Production and Livelihood Opportunities

The 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- Hydroponic” Project.

For 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.

With 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 COVID-19 period.
  • Train a total of 20 youth in hydroponics systems.
  • Build the capacity of participants to construct a hydroponic unit and provide a starter kit to include seeds, rockwool and a water pump.

The 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.

This 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 systems.

GARD Center – IICA Press Release: Vetiver Planting Training Session

Open or Download: Press Release Document in PDF format

Screenshot from the online training session showing participants.

Gilbert Agricultural and Rural Development Center (GARD Center) through Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) local office on Antigua partnered with the IICA-CBF EbA Project to support the implementation of Vetiver solutions through the development of nurseries in Antigua and Barbuda.

Open or Download: Press Release Document in PDF format

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.