The Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies is set to begin the first phase of constructing an Agri-business Development Park later this year.
Making this announcement, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Principal of UWI Professor Eudine Barriteau outlined that a multimillion-dollar agricultural and agro-processing facility would be constructed at Dukes Plantation, St. Thomas on 28.5 acres of agricultural land donated by Fred and Vanessa Edghill.
“While a large portion of the land will be allocated for farming, there will be facilities for agro-processing, chocolate manufacturing, training, and cotton processing. The park will also feature a conference room with seating for more than 350, retail shops and restaurants, and will complement Barbados’ tourism product by providing sources of attraction, recreation, leisure and education for visitors who can spend an entire day there. They can try their hands at chocolate making, spinning cotton, and preparing meals among other activities,” said Barriteau.
The UWI’s Centre for Food Security and Entrepreneurship (CFSE) will oversee the project.
Addressing the launch of the Exquisite Local and Caribbean Products Exhibition at the Limegrove Lifestyle Centre yesterday morning, she also pointed to the high commendation the CFSE has received for its Blackbelly Sheep Leather Project, describing it as a high-value, joint enterprise utilising world-class Italian designers and manufacturers.
“Under CFSE’s Blackbelly Sheep Leather Project, the skin is transformed into leather used to make shoes, bags, belts and leather goods, some of which you see here today. This project will positively impact the viability of agriculture in Barbados and the region as it leverages research and development, with the goal of moving agribusiness further along the value chain,” she continued.
Barriteau therefore insisted that the Cave Hill campus was about to make its economic presence felt in an even greater manner.