Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, the Hon. Indar Weir taking a bite into a Burger King burger. Looking on is Chairman of Restaurants Associates (Barbados) Limited, Ralph ‘Bizzy’ Williams (left); General Manager of Restaurants Associates (Barbados) Limited, Ryan Walters (right); and Director of Burger King, Everick Eastmond (behind).

farming drive

FEED project to provide tech training for farmers

IN the coming weeks, the Government of Barbados will launch its flagship farm development programme, The Farmers Empowerment and Enfranchisement Drive (FEED).

Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, the Hon. Indar Weir, made this disclosure yesterday while addressing the official opening of Burger King’s Holetown restaurant, located at Rubis Service Station, Holetown, St. James.

The FEED programme, which will be managed by the Barbados Agricultural and Development Marketing Corporation (BADMC), will aim to give Barbadians – especially young people – an opportunity to participate in farming at a different level.

“That different level is through the use of technology in farming,” he explained.

“This programme is about to be launched in April and at the launch of this programme, we will then be starting off with farmers training every three months a group of farmers over the next three years, to give us a total of about 2 000 farmers being trained to take up the challenge of participating in business, but equally participating in the use of mobile phone apps, etc to drive farming activities.”

Minister Weir congratulated the management of the local arm of the international restaurant chain on the opening of yet another branch, its sixth since opening its doors in Barbados in 2013.

He said that Burger King’s success in such a short period demonstrates clearly that Barbados is open for business and also that there is a place for restaurants that offer burgers in an environment where chicken is king.

However, he stressed “I want to say to the Directors and to the management and staff of Burger King that you do have my support. But, you do have my support against a philosophical background that I will not depart from - I do believe that in our 21st century existence we do have a role to play in terms of how we develop our country, how we seek to raise our children and the way we address food security and nutritional food.

“Barbados, as you do know, is known as the capital for chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) among adults and children. And a time has come when a conversation must take place between the Ministry of Agriculture and fast-food restaurants, where we are prepared to walk with you every step of the way to ensure your success.”

The Agriculture Minister further stressed that corporate entities must have a social conscious, “and living up to your social conscious the responsibility falls to you therefore to make sure that our children are the beneficiaries of wholesome and nutrition food. And that therefore all of us, not just our fast-food restaurants, but everyone who is involved in the catering and provision of food in Barbados, must now join us as we seek to grapple with NCDs among children”.
(TL)

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