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4H Movement grows dramatically
THERE is renewed spirit in the 4H Movement, such that there has been an over astronomical increase in the number of clubs in the country.
According to deputy chairman of the 4H Foundation, Osmond Harewood, what started as a total of five clubs just over three years ago, has jumped to a total of 36 and the membership now stands at over 1 000 strong.
His comments came as he delivered remarks at a consultation being hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organi-sation (FAO) on linking health, nutrition and agriculture through school garden-based learning (GBL) at the Barbados Beach Club.
“Within the last three years the board has tried to inject some new life and spirit and within that movement and among some of our core objectives we have created an appreciation and awareness of scientific agriculture, strengthened the links between agriculture, nutrition and health and strengthened the institutional framework for more effective delivery of our programmes,” he said.
Harewood added that the support of the Ministry of Agriculture has been a major help to the Foundation, having moved from a subvention of $100 000 to now $200 000 and promises of additional funds, as they continue to grow.
With that in mind, he explained that this growth they are seeking is not only in terms of the number of clubs and members, but also with respect to the infrastructure of the Foundation.
He revealed that one of their programme goals is to establish an agricultural training centre in the Pine Basin, St Michael, adding that they have already embarked on initiatives to produce and sell seedlings to the public as well as broiler chickens in an effort to assist clubs in raising funds.
Assistance with those initiatives, he added, was provided through the FAO.
“This consultation today is another example of the commitment of the FAO not only to enhance food security but to empower the youth of the region,” he said.
Speaking specifically to the GBL programme, Harewood said that to successfully implement it, strategic partnerships must be created with the Ministries of Education and Health and he added, strong links must be established between the schools and the 4H movement.
“We recognise that if we are to sustain the 4H Movement in Barbados we must be receptive to new ideas, new models and pro-cesses as we seek to retool our leaders. Also, that out of this consultation and other initiatives being explored, we can build a movement that is strong, sustainable [and] which is at the forefront of promoting food sovereignty and security and a movement which is very relevant to our young people,” Harewood said. (JRT)