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Peters Hope Germplasm Conservation Site opens

Peters Hope Germplasm Conservation Site opens

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The Peter’s Hope Germplasm Conservation Site was opened last Friday, October 14.{{more}}

The opening ceremony coincided with activities held to observe World Food Day, which was officially observed by 192 countries worldwide last Sunday, October 16 under the theme ‘Food Prices – From Crisis to Stability’.

Members of the public were treated to a display of locally grown crops and the wide assortment of value added products that can be derived from the production of particular foods.

The opening of the facility however marked the end of a process that links agriculture and tourism and was constructed at a cost of EC$59,000.

The plot is one of many areas targeted through the Organization of American States (OAS) funded project to be used by the travel tour services for tourists and other visitors.

Chief Agricultural Officer, Reuben Robertson, explained that the facility contains one of every type of mango that is found on the island, and after paying a small token, which will go towards the upkeep of the facility, visitors will have the opportunity to go on to the compound to pick fruits.

Melene Glynn, local OAS representative in her presentation at the opening ceremony connected the facility to food security.

“What you see today is the realization of the potential at Peter’s Hope and indeed a fulfillment of the promise enshrined in this area,” Glynn said.

She contended that food security was one of the more pressing issues globally and it was stated that food availability will become more critical in the future.

“As we celebrate World Food Day, we need to keep in mind the need to develop strategies and policies that will ensure that we all have access to sufficient, safe food,” Glynn said.

Domestic agriculture tends to be underutilized, therefore forcing the people to be susceptible to high food prices because of the large proportion of imported food.

“The recent trend to link agriculture with tourism has provided an opportunity to promote domestic agriculture while enhancing the value added.”

She maintained that while tourism had taken over as the main income earner for many Caribbean territories, it had evolved from the basic sand, sea and sun.

Agro-tourism, she said, would provide the diversification and renewal that will do good for the local tourism sector while providing a much needed boost for agriculture. (DD)

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