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Grenada Agricultural Livelihoods Recovery Project Unites Public and Private Partners to aid hurricane-devastated farms

ST. GEORGE’S Grenada – While Hurricanes Ivan and Emily delivered devastating blows to Grenada’s agricultural industry within the last two years, there was one thing they couldn’t destroy – the indomitable spirit of Grenadian farmers. That spirit has been given new life – both figuratively and literally – through the Grenada Agricultural Livelihoods Recovery Project, which offered more than 500 Grenadian farmers a broad range of financial and in-kind support to help renew successful farming operations.

The project represents a first-ever collaboration among the Agency for Reconstruction and Development Inc. (ARD), the Ministry of Agriculture, the international humanitarian agency Oxfam and the Stanford Financial Group, led by Chief Executive Officer R. Allen Stanford. With a $1 million (EC) unrestricted financial grant from Stanford Financial Group and logistical support from Oxfam, the ARD facilitated the multi-faceted project on behalf of the Government of Grenada.

The project — which ran from September 26, 2005 to January 11, 2006 — reflects ARD’s mission to “build…back…better.” By providing recovery essentials such as land clearance, cash-for-work opportunities, chickens, coops, pigs, pens, fertilizer, feed, and training for farmers, the project played a major part in reviving farms in the rural Parishes of St. Andrew and St. Patrick. The Grenada Agricultural Livelihoods Recovery Project represents yet another successful undertaking by Prime Minister Dr. the Rt. Hon. Keith Mitchell in securing funds for Grenada’s reconstruction efforts.

“The image of Grenada in the international arena is one of resilience and opportunity. By securing funds for the regeneration of agriculture that help to alleviate poverty, Grenada is saying to the world that we are focusing on sustainable development,” said Prime Minister Mitchell.

Noted Mr. Stanford, “Stanford Financial Group has been proud to participate in the Grenada Agricultural Livelihoods Recovery Project, which is an extension of our broader commitment to Caribbean development and an effort to plant seeds – both physical and motivational – that will reap benefits to these farmers, their families and their communities for years to come. The entire global Stanford family continues to extend our hearts and thoughts to the citizens of Grenada, and we hope this support offers true inspiration for a brighter future,” said Mr. Stanford.

“The benefits of this project are multiple,” said Hon. Gregory Bowen, Minister of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry and Fisheries. “Not only has it helped to revive some 500 farms, thereby contributing to our national Food Security Program, the project has served to alleviate poverty and set these farming operations on a path of sustainable production.”

Barbados-based Oxfam Coordinator Margaret Harris noted that the project demonstrates the level of success that can be achieved when partnership participants are united in spirit and in purpose. “For us, the project reflects the importance of engaging more closely in partnerships with civil society organizations that are really there at the base, operating at the community level,” Ms. Harris said.

Grenada farmer at work

Hermitude Benjamin and children, Sherry & Tapha

Norma Hannibal with her flock

Carman Castille begins planting tomato seedlings

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