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Friday, 18 March 2016 02:36

Better Life Gardening Project



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Bridgetown, 4 th March 2016 – With the growing concern over the prevalence of non-

communicable diseases in Barbados, the Barbados Association of Retired Persons (BARP) has
developed a strategy to promote healthy living, improve productivity and sustainability of local
food gardening. With funding support from the Global Environment Facility Small Grants
Programme (GEF SGP), implemented by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), BARP
through the Education Committee will be implementing the Better Life Gardening Project which
aims to equip both BARP members and the wider public with best practices to grow sustainable
home gardens.

On Friday March 4, the Barbados Association of Retired Persons (BARP) officially launched the
Better Life Gardening Project. This initiative is a continuation of the BARP on the Move campaign;
the Association’s ongoing initiative targeted at managing, preventing and lowering the high
incidence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) among its members and the nation. Research
reveals that hypertension, which is one of the most important risk factors for heart disease, affects
approximately 27% of the local population (Chronic Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) Facts in
the Caribbean, Healthy Caribbean Coalition). The Better Life Gardening Project seeks to combine
the therapeutic effects of gardening; relaxation, stress reduction, improved physical and mental
health with nutritional benefits that come from eating freshly picked food and food grown closer
to source.

It is anticipated that the project will have a positive impact on national food security, climate
change readiness, environmental sustainability, and health and nutrition. BARP is extremely
excited about this UN sponsored project which we believe could have a national impact.
The project will feature hands on training in various growing techniques while making important
linkages to health and wellness as well as nutrition. The objective is to train groups of BARP
members on sustainable gardening practices from sowing seeds through to harvesting and the
preservation of foods including the solar drying of produce. These sessions will be recorded and
made available online to the 40,000 plus members of BARP.

Key stakeholders present at the launch included officials from the GEF SGP UNDP, Ministries of
Agriculture and Health as well as the Barbados Agricultural Society.

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