Make use of seaweed
Barbadians have been told that they should not to see the invasive Sargassum seaweed as a threat or a crisis.
“See it as an opportunity for your next semester when you are going to use seaweed as a fertilizer, when you are going to use seaweed as a mulch because these things are not just threats or crisis, but they really present a tremendous opportunity for some value-added,” said National Coordinator of the United Nations Development Programme’s GEF Small Grants Programme David Bynoe.
“From the seaweed you can have several products both in terms of animal feed, fertilizer, iodine and there are so many other beneficial uses of seaweed. There are places where you grow it just for the Japanese market. So we need to think about these things in a very scientific way,” he added.
Bynoe was speaking during a special ceremony where students from more than two-dozen primary schools were recognized and celebrated for their involvement in the Regional Entrepreneurship Agriculture Programme (REAP).
REAP provided the students with the opportunity to sow and reap a range of products, which they also sold.
The programme, which started in November 2013 and was initially aimed at attracting about 300 students, saw the participation of more than 1,300 students from several primary schools and the Grantley Adams Secondary School.
Officials are currently in the planning phase of a similar programme for secondary school students that is hoped to begin in the next school term. REAP will also be adopted throughout the region.
Addressing the gathering at the Almond Bay Catering in Hastings, Christ Church yesterday, Bynoe said he was pleased that the programme had impacted positively on the students.
“Today really signifies a metamorphosis in our approach, not only to our economic development but also our social development because children would have learned some very important social skills . . . .It also has a very strong environmental component. So we are changing the approach of how we do things in this country,” he said.
“I am more than happy with the results I have seen thus far as it relates to this project,” added Bynoe, describing the programme as a “more holistic approach to education”.
“It is important that we turn the classroom, from the primary school level, into a practical laboratory,” he added.
The GEF Small Grants Programme was supported by the UNP to the tune of US$15,000.
Director of the Division of Youth within the Ministry of Youth and Culture Cleviston Hunte described REAP as “a revolutionary type project”. He said he was satisfied that the future of agriculture in Barbados was safe.
“The evidence that we are seeing from this project is that we are getting more young people involved in agriculture and this speaks well to the development of agriculture across the country,” he said.