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ADO and  TCCFG distribute nearly 200 backyard farming kits at CG Atlantic’s Zest Festival

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#TheBahamas, December 7, 2022 – Agricultural Development Organization (ADO) Bahamas distributed 195 backyard farming kits to interested members of the general public at CG Atlantic’s Zest Festival, which took place on Saturday at the CG Atlantic House Grounds.

Hundreds of attendees showed up at the festival, many of whom jumped at the opportunity to take home one of ADO’s kits and get started producing food in their own yards.

ADO Executive Chairman Philip Smith said it’s just the latest in the organization’s efforts to equip more Bahamians with the tools to improve food security.

“We view food security and our pursuit of it as a nation as a holistic effort, one that should involve all levels of society, from government, to businesses to individuals,” said Smith.

“And through our backyard farming initiative, we are seeking to provide individuals and their families with resources to grow some of their own food and reduce dependence on imported goods.”

Members of The Commercial Church Faming Group (TCCFG) were on hand at the Zest Festival to demonstrate to members of the public how to use the kits.

The giveaway was ADO’s most recent, with the organization having also handed out 50 kits last week at Campbell Shipping, which were purchased as a Christmas gift to their staff. The company also donated $6,000 to ADO.

The backyard farming initiative is part of a larger effort by ADO, in partnership with TCCFG, to support agricultural development for greater food independence.

With the cost of living and inflation continuing to be a major issue for many Bahamian families, Smith said he is hopeful that the organization can help to provide a stable and sustainable local food production industry.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and the food shortages and inflation that has followed has emphasized that as a country, we need be able to feed ourselves,” he said.

“And that’s a key part of our mission here at ADO. We believe that the importance of being able to grow our own food cannot be emphasized enough and will go a long way towards increasing our resilience as a nation to global economic shocks.”

In a country where nearly 90 percent of the food consumed is imported, food security has been at the forefront of national discussion in recent years, with crisis after crisis highlighting the urgent need to reduce The Bahamas’ annual food import bill of more than $1 billion.

Both governing parties have called for a greater focus on increasing food production in The Bahamas in an effort to move towards greater food independence.

Launched in February, ADO has already become a driving force in that effort, committed to working with the government and various sectors of society to support agricultural development.

In recognition of Giving Tuesday, which takes place tomorrow, ADO is seeking the public’s help in raising funds to be able to continue its work of empowering Bahamians to grow their own food in an effort to increase the country’s food security.

Those interested in donating to ADO’s cause find more information on how to do that at https://adobahamas.org/donations-page.

 

Photo Captions: 

Header: Carroll demonstrating how to use farming kits to members of the public.

Insert: Agricultural Development Organization (ADO) and The Church Commercial Farming Group (TCCFG) officials were at Zest Festival ready to equip members of the public with their own backyard farming kits. (L-R: ADO Office Manager Michelle Shepherd, TCCFG Extension Officer Sydney Carroll, TCCFG Agricultural Expert Basil Miller, ADO Volunteer Maya Ingraham, ADO Donations Officer Millie Wong)

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Caribbean News

Barbados to Host 41st Caribbean Travel Marketplace this Spring

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

 

#Barbados, February 2, 2023 – Barbados has been selected to host the 41st edition of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s (CHTA) Caribbean Travel Marketplace. The event will be held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre in Bridgetown from May 9 -11, and it is expected to build on the success of the 40th staging held in Puerto Rico last fall.

CHTA President Nicola Madden-Greig, who made the announcement recently, said it’s the first time in the organization’s history that the association’s largest annual event, which brings together buyers and sellers of the region’s tourism products and services, will be staged in Barbados.

“CHTA has a very strong relationship with both public and private sector stakeholders in Barbados, and as we position the region’s top earner for robust growth this year, we are delighted to lock arms with our Bajan partners to drive business to the Caribbean,” she stated.

Noting that: “This year’s Marketplace will also provide unique access to the Eastern Caribbean for buyers and tour operators as the region places a strong focus on the revival of multi-destination travel.”

Minister of Tourism and International Transport of Barbados Ian Gooding-Edghill, said the Barbados tourism industry was undergoing a major renaissance in the post-COVID environment, and the timing could not be better to welcome Caribbean Travel Marketplace to local soil.

“We are honoured to host such a preeminent gathering of tourism stakeholders from around the world,”  Minister Gooding-Edghill said, noting that the meeting aligns with Barbados’ value offerings, which appeal, among others, to the very important MICE [Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions] market.

The launch of the first Caribbean Travel Forum & Awards, a highlight of the Puerto Rico meeting, will return for a second edition and will be held in Barbados on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, ahead of the official opening ceremony of Caribbean Travel Marketplace.

The Forum will also focus on the business of tourism, and business appointments will be conducted on Wednesday, May 10 and Thursday, May 11.

Over 150 delegates, including Ministers of Tourism and key private sector leaders, engaged in the Caribbean Travel Forum last year.

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Bahamas News

National Food Policy to be created in the Bahamas

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

 

#TheBahamas, February 2, 2023 – A new initiative by the Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs in the Bahamas will see the creation of a National Food Policy geared towards ensuring food security on the island.

“This agricultural policy would encompass a holistic approach and incorporate regulations, legislation, and other aspects to assist the farmers who have not really gotten the attention they deserve for a long time,” said the Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs, Hon. Clay Sweeting.

Other initiatives within the agriculture sector will also be implemented, such as the digitalization of applications and forms, which will make farming more efficient.

Clay said, “we have already digitalized for the most part the Department of Marine Resources and soon we will unveil new services such as dog licences, import permits, and other services needed for a successful agricultural sector.”

The construction of the Cultivation Centres (TCC) in Eleuthera and New Providence with produce exchange, food processing kitchens and farm stores will continue.

Sweeting said he hopes these initiatives will help to decrease the country’s yearly $1 billion food import bill.

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Caribbean News

Guyana secures cryotherapy machines to help fight cervical cancer

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

 

#Guyana, February 2, 2023 – Guyana will see a significant boost to its healthcare system soon as the health ministry has acquired 20 cryotherapy machines to help treat and prevent cervical cancer, the second most prevalent cancer among women in the country.

Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy, involves cooling the body’s tissues for therapeutic purposes and removing the abnormal tissue. This type of therapy is also used to treat many skin conditions and some cancers, including prostate, cervical and liver cancer.

The Health Ministry said the machines will help clear the backlog of patients needing such treatment.

Director of the Non-Communicable Diseases Programme of the Health Ministry, Dr. Latchmie Lall, said the equipment will be very instrumental in providing immediate service to patients.

“We are indeed very thankful for this donation of cryotherapy machines that were brought through the IDB project; a total of 20 machines that are going to be used to improve our screening services for cervical cancer; this will come as a great measure for not only screening but to provide immediate medical treatment in that if we do find a pathological cervix, cryotherapy can be applied immediately, and we have one healthy patient going back home to her family,” Dr. Lall said.

Director of Primary Healthcare Services, Dr. Ertensia Hamilton, said the equipment comes at an opportune time when the ministry is extending its services for women of reproductive age across the country.

“We recognise that Guyana still has a high incidence of cervical cancer in our women, and so we want to be able to have services available to them as we work towards ensuring that each individual across their life course has services to meet their medical needs,” she said.

Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony, during his comment, revealed that Guyana is trying to develop a comprehensive programme for cervical cancer.

“One of the things that we are trying to do is to have a comprehensive cervical cancer programme. The first level will be to prevent cervical cancer. We want to do that by encouraging people to get the HPV vaccination. We have these vaccines available. We have been rolling them out to ensure that every person eligible for these vaccines gets them.”

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