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Chinese Assistance Will Ensure Food Security

Friday 15th February, 2019-Agriculture Minister Dean Jonas says modern agricultural technology being used by the Chinese will greatly assist Antigua and Barbuda in food and nutrition security.

Minister Jonas made the remarks during a tour of the Green Castle Agricultural Station on Thursday. The Green Castle station is the main experimental unit being used by the Chinese in the Agricultural Technology Cooperation Project between Antigua and Barbuda and the People’s Republic of China, which began in May 2018.

According to Jonas, Antigua and Barbuda can be self sufficient in specific food crops and he is grateful to the People’s Republic of China for allowing the Yuan Longping High-Tech Company to share their expertise with the people of Antigua and Barbuda.

Minister Jonas said that the ministry is not only on a drive to improve food security but to play a bigger role in helping to reduce the incidents of Non Communicable Disease (NCDs).

The agriculture minister was part of a high level delegation that visited the Green Castle facility to see firsthand, the level of crop production that is being undertaken as part of the agricultural technology cooperation project agreement between the two countries and from all accounts, they were very impressed.

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He said that equipment are also being sourced as part of the project, which also include tools to set up a Tissue Culture Lab to propagate the best varieties of crops in Antigua and Barbuda. According to Jonas, this will be a big plus for the country in years to come.

The Agriculture Minister believes that Antigua and Barbuda can achieve food security by the end of the 3-year project. The Chinese are now completing the experimental stage of the joint initiative and the main beneficiaries of the training component will be the farmers and other technical officers.

The agricultural project is an aid package from China to the tune of approximately EC $10 million.

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