Garden Pool has joined an international team with IICA,CARDI, and the Ministry of Agriculture to help the island of Barbuda with agriculture recovery. Due to hurricane Irma, the island is still without electricity and running water and is a complete food desert; residents have little to no access to fresh, affordable food.
The hurricane, which hit early September 2017, was estimated to have damaged or destroyed approximately 95% of Barbuda’s structures, leading to the evacuation of the entire island. This included most of it’s agricultural infrastructure, with there being no storage systems to allow farmers access to food after the hurricane, according to IICA national specialist Craig Thomas. The goal of the international project is to not only aid in supplying the recovering nation with food, but to help it build resilient agricultural systems, adaptable to climate change and capable of withstanding future natural disasters.
The project will be complete in phases due to a lack of services and materials during the on-going rehabilitation, the first being the construction of a greenhouse structure at the Sir Mc Chesney George Secondary School, designed by Garden Pool.
From there, there will be further activities over the course of the next four to six months. Garden Pool’s present and future contributions, in technology and systems, will be an integral part of restoring and re-establishing Barbuda’s agricultural sector after Hurricane Irma.
Understanding that there will be more hurricanes in the future, Garden Pool is dedicated to strengthening the school as a center for Barbuda’s recovery through a variety of methods, including the installation of solar panels and 3D printers, and the use of Garden Pool’s Climate Smart Farm. This farm system is not only resistant to saltwater intrusion, a particular threat to Barbuda’s water resources, but its drought tolerant, uses 98% less water than conventional farming methods, and is adaptable due to the structure of its garden rows, which can be moved by hand before future hurricanes strike. These features contribute to a farm that is 10-18 times more productive than conventional farming methods. It will be aided further by a adaptive propagation and cloning station, which will produce thousands of plants a month without needing to start from seeds. Garden Pool seeks to completely restore the agriculture sector of Barbuda, in as short a time as possible.