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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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CHTA President Praises Jamaica’s Hurricane Preparedness, Assures Ongoing Support

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KINGSTON, Jamaica– President of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), Nicola Madden-Greig, has praised the strength of local and regional public-private sector partnerships, while congratulating tourism stakeholders across Jamaica for their strong level of preparedness in weathering the dangerous Category 4 Hurricane Beryl, which impacted the island this week.

“Jamaica was spared the worst of the hurricane and we have now returned to regular business operations,” said Madden-Greig, who rode out the storm at her office in Kingston. She reported that Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay and Ian Fleming International Airport in Ocho Rios opened today, while Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston will open on Friday, July 5, after minor repairs are completed.

“We have no reports of any guests being injured during the passage of the storm, and the majority of the hotels and the tourism industry in general have emerged unscathed,” Madden-Greig added.

However, she expressed concerns for the south coast of the island, where many local communities were impacted, along with several independent hotels and villa operations.

“We will be including these operators in our disaster relief efforts, particularly in the Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth area,” she noted, explaining however that she had little doubt that this resilient community will rebound in the shortest possible time.

The trade association leader was encouraged with the reports emanating from the Cayman Islands, which confirmed no major impact on the sector there. “We are thankful to God for sparing us for the most part, and we are now resolved to getting our industry back on track, while serving communities (especially those in the Grenadines) who are in dire need at this time,” said Madden-Greig.

Individuals, businesses and organizations that want to contribute to regional hurricane relief efforts may make a monetary donation at www.chtaef.com.

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CARICOM raising profile and priority of its Migration Policy; curbing challenges ‘a tall order’

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Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer

 

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is committed to work with Member States and other stakeholders to implement a “forward-thinking regional migration policy,” according to its Assistant Secretary General, Alison Drayton.

Addressing the opening of a recent three-day workshop titled “Towards a Regional Approach to a Migration Policy in the Caribbean,” in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, she said it is evident that the Region has been facing, and will continue to face, various challenges that affect the lives and livelihoods of Caribbean citizens.

“Namely, due to Climate Change, which has amplified displacements and the need for persons to migrate from areas that threaten their livelihoods or limit their opportunities to prosper and provide for their families,” the ASG told the forum, adding that the Climate Change and natural disasters remain “key drivers of displacements in the Region.”

“With the frequency and magnitude of events likely to increase in the future, this has contributed to many regional States facing demographic decline, which has impacted their workforce, our younger population seeking job opportunities outside the Region, and many key sectors being negatively impacted,” she stated.

The CARICOM official underscored that tackling the challenges would be “a tall order,” hence the Regional body’s commitment that would help address various aspects of Regional migration and human mobility as determined by Member State priorities.

Lauding the Government of Trinidad and Tobago for hosting the workshop, and the and valuable technical contributions made by the United Nations (UN) Migration Group and financial contributions from the United States Department of State, the European Union, and the Inter-American Development Bank, she said  the their efforts have been significant.

The contribution made by International Organization for Migration (IOM), has advanced the policy, with provision of consultancies to coordinate the Community’s work through the Regional Approach to Migration Policy (RAMP) Steering Committee and development of the framework, she highlighted.

For Trinidad and Tobago’s National Security Minister, the Hon. Fitzgerald Hinds, his country is also committed to contributing to the development of a regional migration policy framework that reflects the priorities of the people of the Caribbean Community.

“As we embark on this journey together, let us harness the expertise, the insights and the experiences that we already have among us as we gather here today to shape the policy framework that is in front of us,” the Minister said, adding that the current migration realities “should prepare us for future challenges.”

The technical workshop brought together National Focal Points from the CARICOM Member States, and representatives of relevant regional and international organisations, building on IOM’s Migration Governance Indicator (MGI) assessments, and other consultations held with national Governments of CARICOM Member States in 2023.

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Government Earmarks $300M for Post-Hurricane Dengue Mitigation

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#Kingston, Jamaica, July 19, 2024 – The Government has earmarked $300 million to ramp up dengue mitigation activities, inclusive of fogging, treatment of mosquito breeding sites, removal of bulky waste and drain cleaning, in the aftermath of Hurricane Beryl.

Addressing the House of Representatives on Tuesday (July 16), Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, said the funds have been allocated to the Ministry of Health and Wellness, which will spearhead vector-control activities over the next six weeks.

He further informed that the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) and National Works Agency (NWA), “are technically involved in this dengue mitigation [exercise] by trying to clear the environmental conditions that would create the growth in the vector”.

Mr. Holness highlighted the potential for a significant increase in the dengue vector, the Aedes aegpyti mosquito, which breeds primarily in containers, consequent on  the hurricane’s passage.

“We know that many communities are being plagued by the increase in the mosquito population… and other vectors [such as] roaches, rats and flies. Therefore, the cleanup and removal and clearing of waterlogged areas is of critical importance,” he emphasised.

The Prime Minister noted that the hot summer conditions, along with rainfall, will further contribute to heightening the possibility of an increase in these vectors and the transmission of diseases.

As such, he appealed to Jamaicans to properly store water in covered containers and destroy mosquito breeding sites around their homes.

“I urge all homeowners who are storing water and… leaving the containers open, that an easy way to control the growth of the mosquito population in your households is to cover the containers,” Mr. Holness said.

He pointed out that the NSWMA will shortly announce a schedule for the removal of bulky waste from homes.

Prime Minister Holness further indicated that the NWA will be actively cleaning various gullies.

Dengue symptoms include fever, headache, and joint and muscle pains. These are often resolved through rest and adequate hydration along with the use of paracetamol to treat the accompanying fever.

 

Contact: Chris Patterson

Release: JIS

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