PRESS RELEASE: CARDI Day 2019
From Right to Left
Mr. Paul Lucas – CARDI Representative for Antigua and Barbuda, CARDI Representative for Montserrat; Mr. Wilstan Henry – General worker; Mr. Bradbury Browne – CARDI Technician; Mr. Jan Kleijn – Intern (Undergraduate) from Netherlands; Mr. Delvin Batchelor – Temporary Worker and CARDI staff Seed Production; Mr. Donnet Bowman – Administrative Assistant; Mr. Wesley Reid – Temporary Worker; Mrs. Carrol Josiah – Laboratory Assistant; Mr. Calvin Crogman – General worker (Not in the Photo); Mrs. Carol Benjamin – Office Custodian (Not in the Photo)
Executive Director’s Message on CARDI Day 2019
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to our 4th annual CARDI Day celebrations.
CARDI Day is an important event in our outreach calendar. Across the Region, on this symbolic
day we open our doors to all stakeholders to experience first-hand the breadth of our research
and development activities.
In 2019, the Institute conducted/initiated research in a range of exciting areas including climate
resilience, agro-energy, medical cannabis, industrialisation of Cascarilla and development of the
regional coconut industry among other areas. Today, we look forward to updating you on the
progress of these and other activities.
Over the last year, we in the Region, saw that climate change is not just an environmental issue.
It is a real threat, with devastating consequences on agriculture, food security, health, livelihoods
and economic development. CARDI has been at the forefront of building a resilient agriculture
sector and we are especially proud of our accomplishments in this area.
In Jamaica, we completed the expansion and refurbishment of the seed storage facility at
Bodles Agricultural Research Station. This modernised facility is now equipped to
conserve local and regional biodiversity – a key response to climate change adaptation.
There is also an ongoing experiment to evaluate the effect of drought on sweet potato
growth and production.
In the Bahamas, we were part of the Rapid Needs Assessment Team (RNAT) coordinated
by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) to conduct post
disaster assessment for the agriculture sector following Hurricane Dorian. CARDI is
working with the Ministry of Agriculture and other stakeholders on short term and long
term responses to rebuild the ravaged agriculture sector.
In St Lucia together with CARICOM Japan we trained stakeholders from the OECS on
Crop Scheduling and Water Use Efficiency for Climate Change, and mapped the location
of 100 farms and identified their vulnerability to environmental risks.
The CARDI Day platform also provides an opportunity for us to recognise our existing research
collaborators and partners, without whom much of our work will not be possible. In this regard we
want to especially thank the Ministries of Agriculture in each member state. As a valued partner,
you have worked hand in hand with us on priority setting exercises and the implementation of
targeted research and development activities. To all farmers – thank you. Your participation in
demonstrating, testing and validating new products and technologies – the results of our research
activities is much appreciated.
Another important objective of the CARDI Day is it puts into focus the importance of agriculture
and agricultural research to economic development and improved livelihoods. This is critical as
we continue to operate in a time when the value of agriculture and of agriculture research in
particular is understated. Agriculture development and improved productivity holds the key to
overcoming some of the challenges presently facing the Region, foremost, among them are food
and nutrition security, climate change, chronic non-communicable diseases and an ever
increasing food import bill.
Since the Institute’s establishment on this day in 1974, CARDI has been contributing to the
development of a sustainable and productive regional agriculture sector. New and improved
varieties, improved technologies, strengthened value chains and empowered stakeholders are
among some of the Institute’s notable achievements.
In this regard, I wish to launch today, CARDI’s 45th Anniversary celebrations. Over the next year
through a series of activities across the Region CARDI will be highlighting the achievements of
our extensive research and development portfolio under the theme “Celebrating 45 years …from
research to impact.”
I wish to applaud the Board of Governors and Board of Directors for their steadfast support.
To all staff – the people who work every day to build a better institute, thank you for your
commitment and selfless service.
On this momentous occasion I wish to reaffirm CARDI’s commitment to improving lives through
agricultural research, across the region and beyond.
We look forward to sharing the day with you and invite you to be part of our 45th Anniversary
celebrations in 2020.
Barton A. Clarke
Executive Director, CARDI
CARDI (www.cardi.org) was established in 1974 to serve the agricultural research and
development needs of the Member States of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). CARDI is
positioned to contribute to the sustainable development of the Caribbean by the co-generation,
diffusion and application of knowledge, through agricultural research for development. The
Institute’s Headquarters is located at the University Campus, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago.