Can we have Sustainable, Healthy Food in the Caribbean Region?
Updated: Jul 6, 2020
In th Caribbean we happen to have the BEST weather for innovative Agriculture. Its sun all day long!
For 6 months of each year I sit in the frigidness of NYC and wish for the sunny climate of the Caribbean so I could extend my summer backyard garden, but without fail year after year fall gives way to winter and invariably all growing stops! This isn't the case in the Caribbean, my home country Trinidad and Tobago can clock 90 degree's everyday all day. This is the climate for growing food in the Caribbean. With year round sun which allows us to consistently be in Growth mode, we couldn’t be more well positioned.
Instead of looking to Traditional agriculture, where youth run away from, I propose we instead look at innovation for the solution. As in Climate Controlled Grow environments, commonly called Greenhouses. But in truth they are much more than that. Global Food Warrior represents the disruptive space of Vertical farming that includes the growing of Fish and Plants while maximizing yields in the smallest land spaces that might be available.
Fact is, we work closedly with inventors and engineers throughout the world to come up witha way to use all that sun to harness the power of photosynthesis to solve world hunger. They have been at work for years and tested many systems which worked to some degree. Over the many hurdels we have found a way to grow food in Urban spaces with significantly larger yields than what traditional farming allows.
To be clear, we can grow up to nine times the traditional amount of produce in the same square footage as traditional farming would allow.
YES! You heard that right 9 TIMES!! . We seek to revolutionize the way farming has been done across the GLOBE!
Currently in NYC, we have activated a school Agriculture project in which we find the food deserts where children are not able to find affordable, accessible and safe food. Here on school grounds, we erect Growpods, which is what we call our structures, we will do so on several school sites with excess land space the size of approximately 27 ft by 27ft. and we go UP! Three floors, maybe 4 if we include a basement and then we install our vertical farm inside that structure which is climate controlled by using soap bubbles in the cavity between our two opaque pod linings which encases the structure.
This helps us keep our plants from overheating and save on energy costs which can be the largest costs to large scale greenhouses, nor are they exposed to the elements which serves to keep them totally pest free, and that way, in NYC we can grow strawberries in the middle of winter!
Similarly, our growpods in the Caribbean can be much larger that than and can be built to serve instead of a school, it can serve a city, it truly depends on the size we build.
It allows us to grow healthy, pesticide free, safe from hurricanes or even locusts as is happening right now in parts of Africa.
One of the biggest issues farmers across the world are faced with is preadial larceny or the stealing our crops, these growpods eliminate that issue all together.
So, back to our school project, in these school growpods we seek to teach students how to grow, market and serve their schoolmates their own produce thru the school’s school feeding program and then any excess produce can be sold to restaurants who support our mission.
That is just one of the projects that my community of agripreneurs has chosen as our own.
See, the fact is, this Global pandemic has indeed exposed the vulnerable place we have allowed ourselves to be lulled into, by not controlling our own food supply.
Food supply chains globally has been and will continue to be affected by this shutdown and the virus that is taking so many people from us.
BUT, it has also made us become keenly aware of the benefits of localizing our food and that can be a blessing if we can act fast to adress it. Global Food Warrior does that daily.
The Caribbean is ripe for projects like these. As we look at ways to reimagine our future it is my hope that all the islands of our region resets in a way that allows us to be truly self sufficient first, so we can STOP pleading with other countries for help and instead not just feed ourselves, but lead the way in the remaking of our Agricultural sector by literally throwing away the old dusty box that Agricultural initiatives have been placed in and instead replace it with the technology, processes and forward thinking that is required to impact real change and inspire the youth to come on board.
Can the region be self-sufficient?
YES! it will take radical changes in mindsets and a comprehensive strategy to truly market and promote the health benefits of our local produce. It will take farmers working together to share best practices and resources, it will take a breaking of the mold and a rebuilding of a new paradigm that honors the role of Agriculture and the farmers who literally FEED us, But it can indeed be done.