The Ministry of Community Development and Culture in Barbados is promoting a greener Barbados as part of a program to enhance the island’s food security. Food security has become an increasingly pressing concern for governments in the Caribbean region. The recent food shortages in Martinique—the result of interruptions in food supplies from France during strikes to protect the increasing costs of imported foods—underscored the islands’ vulnerability to rising costs and delayed shipments.
Speaking at a community gardening competition, Minister Steven Blackett said that Government is committed to maintaining a good quality of life for its people and in keeping with that vision, they aim to transform Barbados into an island where the backdrop for day-to-day activities is an island-wide network of parks, gardens and nature reserves. Moreover, he said, the intention is also to develop a country where individuals display pride in their surroundings and where collectively they contribute to the greening and beautification of their surroundings. “Each one of us can assist in this exercise by maintain gardens for purely aesthetic and pleasurable reasons and by becoming involved in small scale food production,” he said. “While we can’t all produce large enough quantities of vegetables and herbs for the market, we can plant at our homes and in community plots. The sense of ownership, the personal interest and pride in maintaining the gardens can awaken the desire to nurture and to protect, and can potentially reduce the incidence of vandalism or praedial larceny,” he suggested. He added that if Barbados is to be made green, the passionate involvement of individuals and communities is needed.