As the year 2013 came to an end, CARDI Units in Antigua, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada and St Lucia hosted Open Days with the objective to showcase activities aimed at making the Region more food and nutrition secure. Open Days have become institutionalised in CARDI’s calendar, with the first series being hosted in 2008.
The CARDI Open Day 2013 in Dominica was held on December 6th 2013 at the Castle Bruce Farmer Service Training Centre, under the theme ‘Improving Lives through Agriculture Research’. The Institute’s recent contribution to improving production and productivity of yam, cassava, sweet potato and farine in the catchment area received much commendation from the farmers during an open discussion.
Attendees included farmers and small agro processors who benefited directly from CARDI’s work, innovative extension officers and agriculture students from the tertiary institutions. Throughout the year, CARDI’s Dominica Unit engages in constant dialogue with relevant stakeholders with regards on pertinent aspects of its work program.
Two days earlier in Barbados, on December 4th, 2013 at Graeme Hall in Christ Church, close to one hundred persons attended the Open Day. Visitors were able to purchase cassava tubers; livestock farmers were provided with complimentary Mulberry plants; and hot pepper seedlings were also distributed. Visitors expressed their enthrallment for the intricacies of hot pepper seed production; and the size and yield of cassava tubers from the introduced varieties.
In attendance were Mr. James Paul, CEO of the Barbados Agricultural Society; Mr. Ian Gibbs, Entomologist at Barbados’ Ministry of Agriculture; and students of the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic, among others.
Dr Chesney assured all attendees that “CARDI works for you, the individual entrepreneurs, the Ministries related to agriculture, Member States singly and collectively, and all others in the agricultural sector.”
Open Days are scheduled for early 2014 in Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago.