Taiwan donates seeds for backyard gardening program in SVG

  • Republic of China (Taiwan) announces agricultural project to assist St. Vincent and the Grenadines

The Republic of China (Taiwan) Ambassador Fiona Huei-chun Fan and Honorable Saboto Caesar, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Rural Transformation, industry and Labour, co-hosted the presentation of “Backyard Gardening and Climate Smart Agriculture Program” and donation ceremony. Mr. Donawa Jackson, Representative of CARDI, Mr. St. Clair DaSantos, Principal of North Union Secondary School, government officers, and more than 400 students in the school attended the event. Ambassador Fan and Minister Caesar handed over the trays of seedlings as well as seed packs at the North Union Secondary School on 27 February, 2024.

Ambassador Fan emphasized the 43-year-long friendship between Taiwan and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, with a significant focus on collaborative efforts in the agricultural sector. The ongoing project, “Improving Vegetable Cultivation Management and Post-harvest Handling Project,” aims to bring innovation and improvement to the field, pledging to minimize agricultural product losses through cutting-edge techniques.

A key highlight of the initiative is the seed donations provided to all participants. Ambassador Fan stressed that these seeds represent not just potential crops but a brighter and more sustainable future. Participants, whether seasoned farmers or aspiring agriculture students, were encouraged to leverage these seeds to their fullest potential.

Minister Saboto Caesar expressed his gratitude to Taiwan’s substantial contribution, adding that education not only equips people with needed skills and knowledge, but also gives them a brighter prospect in their career opportunities. He said that the ongoing project and agriculture program provided by Taiwan will train local farmers and workers, and will help Saint Vincent and the Grenadines grow a stronger economy.

Minister Saboto Caesar added the concept of backyard gardens, and envisioned transforming spaces into thriving gardens contributing to community food security. These gardens, conceived as living laboratories, offer participants a practical application of the skills acquired through the project.

Addressing the young agriculture enthusiasts, Ambassador Fan emphasized their role as active participants in shaping the future of agriculture. She urged them to view themselves not just as witnesses but as contributors to the transformative project. The knowledge gained, she emphasized, will be instrumental in building a sustainable and thriving agricultural community.

In a heartwarming gesture, Ambassador Fan extended her commitment beyond agriculture by donating sports items, including soccer balls, basketballs, and sports T-shirts, to North Union Secondary School. This generous gift not only enriches the students’ recreational activities but also underscores the broader scope of collaboration between Taiwan and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The event reached its pinnacle with Taiwan Technical Mission’s Leader, Mr. Chun-Heng Lin, and specialist, Mr. Yi-Yang Shen, demonstrating vertical cultivation methods in the backyard garden. Minister Caesar and Ambassador Fan symbolically transplanted a seedling, signifying the enduring friendship and future collaborations between the two nations.

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