Grenada Creates History With The Commissioning Of The Largest Automated Greenhouse In The Caribbean

PR – Grenada is now better poised to increase  agricultural production and offer better quality and variety of crops, through the use of a fully  automated greenhouse at the Chinese Demonstration Site, at LaSagesse, St. David. 

The greenhouse, which is the first of its kind in Grenada and the largest in the Caribbean, was  commissioned on Thursday, in the presence of Minister for Agriculture, Lands and Forestry, Hon  Peter David, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Grenada, His Excellency, Wei  Hongtian, and Parliamentary Representative for St. David, Hon. Oliver Joseph. 

This smart facility realises the real-time monitoring, early warning, and regulation of the  environment; creates suitable environmental conditions for crop growth and development,  optimises the agricultural cultivation measures, and relieves the intensity of field labour, while  improving productivity. 

The Agriculture Minister underscored the importance of the greenhouse in ensuring food and  nutrition security, particularly as the country manages the negative impacts of the COVID 19 pandemic. 

“I truly believe that this is the type of technology we need to invest in and promote, if we are to  entice our youth to seriously pursue agriculture and make the sector more sustainable. This  facility will be a model that can be adapted to fit the purpose and conditions of many producers  to ensure that more of them use protected agriculture to produce many of our vegetables,  ornamentals and horticultural crops,” Minister David remarked. 

The Chinese Ambassador regards the existence of the greenhouse as a milestone for agricultural  development and modernisation in Grenada.

He said, “I think it will not only serve as a facility for agricultural services, experimentation,  technological innovation, demonstration, training, research and promotion, but also as a new  base for sightseeing and other activities to enhance people’s interest in agriculture.” 

The Parliamentary Representative for St. David noted that Grenada’s food import bill in 2019 was  $350 million. He is grateful for the facility at LaSagesse, as he believes it will help in significantly  decreasing that figure. 

“We must feed ourselves, in order to cut back on this huge food import bill and a greenhouse is  one such technique,” Minister Joseph said. “This will help us to increase our production and  ensure that we can produce what we eat right here in Grenada.” 

Farmers’ Representative in the Senate, Roderick St. Clair, foresees the transformation of the  agricultural sector through use of this technology, especially with the effects of climate change. 

“We can have a model to show farmers that we can produce year-round under a controlled  environment,” he said.  

The commissioning of the greenhouse marked the end of the seventh phase of technical  assistance and cooperation between the People’s Republic of China and Grenada, which was  contracted to Hubei Dadi International Company for Economic Technical Cooperation (Group). A  plaque of appreciation was handed over to Head of the Chinese Mission, Shen Zhiwan, for its contribution to the development of agriculture throughout the seventh phase of the technical  cooperation agreement.