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New plans for nature sanctuary

There are plans by the Ministry of Agriculture to establish what it calls a sustainable agriculture demonstration and training centre (SADTC) at the historic Greame Hall Nature Sanctuary site.

The disclosure was made by Kareem Payne, project manager of the Youth Agri-preneurship Programme, as he addressed the inaugural Green Summit at the Foursquare Rum Distillery today.

While Payne could not provide details for the planned project, he said the Ministry of Agriculture was in the process of “brainstorming to see how we can achieve this”.

 Project manager of the Youth Agri-preneurship programme Kareem Payne addressing the Green Summit.

Project manager of the Youth Agri-preneurship programme Kareem Payne addressing the Green Summit.

“It includes a lot of elements . . . It is going to take a lot of hard work, time and resources,” said Payne, adding that it was brought to his attention around last week.

The Greame Hall Nature Sanctuary is located in Greame Hall, Christ Church. The Greame Hall swamp, a popular tourist attraction, was closed to the public nearly a decade ago.

Payne told participants at the two-day summit that the new training centre would focus on a number of areas including organic farming, health and wellness, modern agriculture practices, environmental protection,  tourism, renewable energy, and showcasing of good agricultural practices.

“Some of the elements will be aquaculture and aquaponics. We see this as something very important and it is something that a lot of persons have expressed an interest in,” he said.

“We want to include modern laboratories in this SADTC, seed production units, greenhouses, protected agriculture . . . One of the things as well will be to have a visitors’ centre,  a seed store, a walking and cycling trail,” added Payne.

He said the centre should attract people “from all walks of life across Barbados, and tourists to come for training”, noting a heavy focus would also be placed on agro-tourism and school tours.

“This is exactly what we want to get to . . . This is the overarching aim of the Ministry of Agriculture,” he said of the new facility. (MM)

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