The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) is creating a more agri-business approach for beekeepers in Antigua and Barbuda.
The handover ceremony for the certificates of business registration and other agri-business inputs and supplies were conducted for the group of thirteen (13) beekeepers comprising three (3) females and ten (10) males who were recently trained in Beekeeping practices and business management under the FAO project “Rebuilding the resilience of agriculture sector and livelihoods of Barbudans affected by Hurricane Irma”, which aims to increase the number of local beekeepers to create sustainable food and agriculture systems that were designed with climate challenges in mind.
The project was developed in response to the devastating effects of Hurricane Irma and aligns its capacity building with the priorities expressed in the national adoption of the Green Island concept.
The workshop focused on increasing capacity among new beekeepers using a blended learning approach that combines practical and theoretical skills.
As part of the ceremony, each participant was provided with certificates of registration, labels, frames, and packaging materials which are the basic inputs a new beekeeper would need to market their products.
An upgraded beekeeping manual for new beekeepers was reproduced under the project and a copy was handed over to the Minister and Permanent Secretary of theMinistry of Agriculture by the President of the Antigua and Barbuda Beekeepers Cooperative.
At the ceremony the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Barbuda Affairs, Hon. Samantha Marshall expressed thanks to FAO and IICA for the continuing support toward the development of agriculture in Antigua and Barbuda and stated that hopefully, she will see more local honey on the supermarket shelves contributing to the agriculture gross domestic product (GDP).
In addition, Colin O’Keife, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, and Julie-Ann Laudat -JAL Consultancy both encouraged the beneficiaries to make full use of the resources and support available to them as they contribute to food security on the island.