WORLD BEE DAY
Antigua & Barbuda in an effort to keep in sync with the regional celebration embarked upon several activities to commemorate “World Bee Day”. During the week of the May 16th a series of radio interview, television interview and tree planting exercises were scheduled for the twin island state.
On Wednesday 18th there was a tree planting exercise, which was a collaboration between the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries & Barbuda Affairs (MAFBA), Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and The Beekeepers Cooperative. According to Brent Georges, MAFBA Projects Coordinator and President of the Antigua Beekeepers Cooperative Society several types of bees attracting trees were planted at the old BBC Relay Station located at Gunthropes.
“Today we are here celebrating World Bee Day which is a commemoration of bees and all the different aspects related to bees. Today we are here for a tree planting exercise at the old BBC compound,” Georges said.
Over the years, with the continuous technical assistance and support IICA has built quite a stupendous reputation with MoAFBA, local organizations, farmers and entrepreneurs. According to Craig Thomas, IICA National Specialist “IICA as an institution continues to support our local NGOs, and on this day, we are trying to encourage not only our beekeepers but the general population of Antigua & Barbuda to plant more bee-friendly trees.”
Approximately 50-60 trees were planted such as; coconut, ackee, mango, logwood, guava, golden shower, sugar cane, lignum vitae and mulberry. Shortly, there will be a similar exercise on the sister isle of Barbuda.
Joining Georges and Thomas for this momentous occasion were some dedicated local farmers and beekeepers in the persons of Thaddeus Spencer, Terrence James, Nicole Browne, Edison Hampson, Tanique Simon, Laura Abraham, Andrew Blanchard, Victor Harris and Jahmol Colbourne (Plant protection Officer and farmer). Special thanks to Mr. Spencer who started a similar initiative and for hosting the day’s event. All present, in his or her way expressed the importance of bees in Agriculture and the significance in planting more trees across the islands to
curtail the effects of drought. “My hope is that by planting trees I can help to offset the effect of drought in Antigua and the effect it has on our bees” Blanchard said. Another concern shared was pertaining to protection of the local biodiversity. “I am to here to support World Bee Day as bees can help improve biodiversity”, said Abraham.
Beekeeping is a widespread and global activity, with millions of beekeepers depending on bees for their livelihoods and well-being. Together with wild pollinators, bees play a major role in maintaining biodiversity, ensuring the survival and reproduction of many plants, supporting forest regeneration, promoting sustainability and adaptation to climate change, improving the quantity and quality of agricultural productions.
This year FAO and its partners celebrated World Bee Day through a virtual event, under the theme ‘Bee Engaged: Celebrating the diversity of bees and beekeeping systems’
The event featured bee and pollinator experts and practitioners from across the world, with an opening video message by FAO Director-General QU Dongyu. The event will raise awareness on the importance of the wide variety of bees and sustainable beekeeping systems, the threats and challenges they face and their contribution to livelihoods and food systems.
WORLD BEE DAY
World Bee Day
20 May 2022
Join us for the virtual event
Friday, 20 May 2022
Please register here
Celebrating the diversity of bees and
Beekeeping is a widespread and global activity, with millions of beekeepers depending on bees for their livelihoods and well-being. Bees provide humans with valuable hive products (such as honey, wax, propolis, pollen and royal jelly) and ecosystem services, including pollination, apitherapy and apitourism. They also can play important economic, cultural and social roles. Together with wild pollinators, bees play a major role in maintaining biodiversity, ensuring the survival and reproduction of many plants, supporting forest regeneration, promoting sustainability and adaptation to climate change, improving the quantity and quality of agricultural productions.
On 20 May 2022, FAO will celebrate World Bee Day through a virtual event, featuring bee and pollinator experts and practitioners from across the world. The event will raise awareness on the importance of the wide variety of bees and sustainable beekeeping systems, the threats and challenges they face and their contribution to livelihoods and agrifood systems. Now is a time to re-think how we can support bees and the livelihoods and systems they, in turn, support.
The agenda for the event is available here
Interpretation will be available in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Russian.
To access a range of World Bee Day communication and social media material:
Posters, virtual background 👉 bit.ly/3LbYEgh
Trello 👉 bit.ly/3l5W2WL
For more information, log on to www.fao.org/world-bee-day or contact us at: World-Bee-Day@fao.org
The event is organized by FAO with the support of
Apimondia and Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale Lazio e Toscana
MITIGATING THE IMPACTS OF COVID-19
A Crowdfunding Project entitled, “Mitigating the impacts of COVID-19 through the supply of fresh food to rural households,” is an Inter-American Institute for Collaboration in Agriculture (IICA) initiative, which is being done in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI). This project aims to assist farmers in Antigua and Barbuda in boosting production on their farms and further contribute to food nutrition and security.
Although the project has come to an end there were some outstanding activities which were schedule to be implemented in an effort tp support the Ministry of Agriculture field station. The project activities which were delayed due were delayed due to other outstanding activities under other projects. A newly established coconut plot at the Greencastle Agricultural Station in Bendals is the latest station to benefit from this project through the collaborative effort and technical support of Craig M. Thomas-IICA National Specialist, Victor Harris- Ministry of Agriculture Technician attached to the Dunbars Research Station, and Bradbury Browne -CARDI Technician and Irrigation Specialist. The team focused on installation of an efficient drip irrigation system on a half acre plot of recently established coconut plot in an effort to increase the coconut production in Antigua and Barbuda. According the station Manager Mr. Jamel Ralph the focus of this plot to rapid multiply the nuts as well as increase the coconut value chain possibilities among the ago-processors.
The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) launched a collective crowdfunding or micro-financing campaign entitled #IAmJoiningIICAChallenge to promote projects aimed at strengthening food security in rural communities of Haiti and Antigua and Barbuda, which are suffering from extreme vulnerability in the face of the pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus.
CENTRAL BOARD OF HEALTH SHOWED APPRECIATION TO MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE OFFICIALS
Senior Public Health Inspector at the Central Board of Health, Julienne Mannix this Easter in an effort to show appreciation to the staff at the Vector Control Unit had created Easter Care packages for the staff.
To help with this initiative assistance was sought from the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs, Permanent Secretary, Mr. Colin O’Keiffe and Liaison Officer, Marcelle Freeland who assisted in coordinating with local farmers who donated vegetables to the packages.
To show her appreciation, Ms. Mannix presented Mr. O’Keiffe and Ms. Freeland with tokens of appreciation for their support in this initiative.
MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE – FARMERS CONSULTATION
On the evening of Thursday 12th at the Multipurpose Cultural Centre the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs held a Farmer’s Consultation with the Crop and Livestock farmers in Antigua. Presentations were given by National Specialist for the International institutions the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Craig Thomas who informed farmers of the technical support which they give to farmers. Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) representative, Paul Lucas also presented on the responsibility of CARDI and the support in which they give to farmers in Antigua and Barbuda.
Other presentations were given by Emerald David of the Statistics Unit within the Ministry of Agriculture, Chief Extension Officer, Owolabi Elabanjo who spoke on the need for farmers to from Cooperatives and Farming groups. In addition, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs, Hon. Samantha Marshall gave brief remarks on the importance of farmers and the goal of the Ministry of Agriculture in increasing food security and productivity within the country.
Farmers from the different agricultural districts were given a platform to express their concerns and give suggestions. Some of the topics touched by farmers were; praedial larceny, lack of equipment, lack of support from the Ministry, increasing prices of certain inputs such as; fertilizers and driplines, suggestions on how to deal with the lack of water for production, competition with imported foods.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs hopes to host another Farmer’s Consultation soon to address not only the crop and livestock farmers but fisherfolks and it is hoped that a separate consultation would be held in Barbuda.
The Ministry thanks all those who came out and supported especially those farmers who would have voiced their concerns and even given suggestions to certain problems they are facing. The entire Ministry pledges to continue to do its part in supporting the farmers of Antigua and Barbuda.
GREENCASTLE AGRICULTURAL STATION AT STAMP 268
The Greencastle Agricultural Station represented the Ministry Of Agriculture, Fisheries & Barbuda Affairs at the first ever Stamp 268 organized by the Ministry of Creative Industries and Innovation was held at the Environment Division on Saturday. On display were a variety of fruit trees grown at the station located in Bendals.
AQUAPONICS & HYDROPONIC SYSTEMS AT STAMP 268
Alfred Brazier and Wayne Gardner represented Aquatic Solutions at the first ever Stamp 268 organized by the Ministry of Creative Industries and Innovation, held at the Environmental Division on Saturday. Aquatic Solutions is a one stop shop for all hydroponics and aquaponics needs whether it be design or build a system, troubleshoot problems in existing systems, maintain and manage systems. They had on display a few of the systems which they created.
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PLANT HEALTH
Protecting Plant Health is about more than just plants. it’s about protecting life. This is Plant Health Day & every day should be. See below five (5) reasons why we need to keep our plants healthy.
Work underway in Barbuda through the Australian Direct Aid Program
The Direct Aid Program (DAP) is a flexible small grants program through which the Australian Government supports development projects that contribute to sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction.
The project entitle “Innovative Interventions to Strengthen BeFoundation Community Garden in Barbuda” was launched at the Fisheries Complex in Codrington Barbuda on the 29th April,2022 with the technical activities lead by the Barbuda Council Works Department starting on the construction of the multipurpose room after the launch. Present at the launched were Lucrecia Birch- Policy/Program Officer Australian High Commission who gave brief remarks behalf on the High Commissioner who was engaged in another activity. IICA National Specialist Craig Thomas gave a brief background of the project as well as the role of IICA as the coordinating institution for the project. Bradbury Browne-CARDI Technician who highlighted the role that CARDI will play, as they will focus on the soil and water conservation strategies, also gave remarks. The project will focus on rehabilitating the community garden through upgrade strategies to the screen house, vegetable multi-purpose unit, and water harvesting conservation techniques. The group currently focused on producing vegetables for the community as well as donating surpluses to vulnerable persons.
Since Hurricane Irma Barbudans are still recovering from the aftershocks and through community efforts the Be Foundation was formed to focus on working to transform the lives through sustainable development programs. This project will be focused on innovative sustainable agriculture systems, which will contribute to the food security challenges, which currently exist in Barbuda. Newly appointed Chairman of the Barbuda Council Agriculture Division Mr. Fabian Jones who was present at the launched gave the assurance that the Barbuda Council will support all the activities under the project.
85% of food consumed in Barbuda is imported from Antigua via the United States of America (USA). The high cost to those imported commodities by the local supermarkets contributes to the high cost of living for Barbudans. This project will contribute to alleviating the high cost of vegetables as well as promoting a buy local theme.
The project is a community-based approach whereby it has been as inclusive as possible seeking support from the public and private sector. The majority of activities are to be carried out during the 1st and 2nd quarters of the year minimizing the environmental risk which is normally hurricanes disrupting the work.
Through technical institutions such as the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) and Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs (MoAFBA), regular consultation will be tabled to ensure that the agronomical risk when it comes to pest and diseases, which often times will affect the output from the garden.
A Barbudan overseas diaspora supports the Be Foundation who are considered members. The Barbudan Membership consists of: Direct Beneficiaries -Males 4 -Females 10 -Youth 4.
The project, which is a priority actions by the Ministry of Agriculture, which focus on inclusion of women and youth within the agricultural sector. This activity is a collaborative effort between IICA, CARDI, the Barbuda Council, Be Foundation and the MoAFBA.