Great Op­por­tu­nity to Learn About Healthy Eat­ing

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

On De­cem­ber 10 and 11, the Peo­ple’s Knowl­edge Fair will be hosted in Cas­tries with an ex­hi­bi­tion in Wil­liam Pe­ter Boule­vard and Tech­nol­ogy Talks ses­sions at the Cas­tries Con­stituency Coun­cil. At a press con­fer­ence held on Mon­day, De­cem­ber 3 or­gan­is­ers promised that the event will leave knowl­edge­seek­ers with life-chang­ing in­for­ma­tion.

Char­main St. Remy, Pres­i­dent of Women on A Mis­sion Out­reach Inc.—one of the lead­ing spon­sors of the fair—said at the press meet­ing: “We hear ‘or­ganic’ and we think ‘ex­pen­sive’ but it doesn’t have to be. And this is what the knowl­edge fair is all about.”

St. Remy says her or­gan­i­sa­tion has ob­served that while many lo­cal women visit physi­cians, for lack of fi­nan­cial re­sources they rarely fol­low up with di­etary changes. “The knowl­edge fair will equip our women—our men too—with in­for­ma­tion on how, with what you have. For in­stance, home-grown fruit, veg­eta­bles and fish. You can take those very same prod­ucts and make beau­ti­ful, healthy dishes that you and your fam­ily can af­ford.”

On both of the des­ig­nated days, exhibitions will run from 8 in the morn­ing to 8:30 in the evening and show­case or­ganic, sus­tain­able and health-con­scious prod­ucts and ser­vices. Other com­po­nents of the event in­clude a pub­lic fo­rum in the Par­lia­ment’s Cham­ber; launch­ing of the Or­ganic Farm­ers Net­work; dis­cus­sions on grant and low-in­ter­est loans for cli­mate re­silient projects; and per­for­mances by indige­nous mu­si­cal and cul­tural ex­po­nents.

On De­cem­ber 11, from 9am to 4:30pm, Tech­ni­cal Talks will be on at the au­di­to­rium in­side the CCC. Eight dif­fer­ent speak­ers and spe­cial­ists will de­liver 30-minute tech­ni­cal pre­sen­ta­tions in the fields of sci­ence, or­ganic farm­ing, health and/or en­trepreneur­ship. Two of the an­tic­i­pated top­ics are “Mak­ing the can­cer jour­ney tri­umphant” pre­sented by Nicole Joseph-Chin and “Why the Tourism In­dus­try must sup­port or­ganic agri­cul­ture in SIDs” by Noorani Azeez.

On be­half of In­terAmer­i­can In­sti­tute for Co­op­er­a­tion and Agri­cul­ture, also a lead­ing spon­sor, rep­re­sen­ta­tive ,John King shared: “This is very im­por­tant . . . be­cause if we look at what is hap­pen­ing, not just in Saint Lu­cia but in the wider re­gion, we’ll re­al­ize obe­sity, di­a­betes and can­cer are our ma­jor con­cerns. So, if we can sup­port an ac­tiv­ity and build ca­pac­ity in coun­tries to make sure peo­ple are eat­ing healthy, we will step for­ward.”

King added that IICA has also in­vited a mem­ber of the Ja­maican or­ganic move­ment to Saint Lu­cia to as­sist lo­cal farm­ers. “It is im­por­tant for us to be aware of what the po­ten­tial is for Saint Lu­cia,” he said, “be­cause I can tell you, as an out­sider, Saint Lu­cia has a lot of po­ten­tial to go or­ganic. Most of all, we must look at the value chain and make sure the pri­vate sec­tor is buy­ing into the or­ganic move­ment.”

The Global En­vi­ron­ment Fa­cil­ity, bet­ter known as GEF, is also bear­ing the ti­tle of main spon­sor. Na­tional Co­or­di­na­tor Giles Ro­mu­lus said on Mon­day: “The La­borie Credit Union is also go­ing to be there. They just got a sig­nif­i­cant grant from the In­ter-Amer­i­can Devel­op­ment Bank to look at cli­mates­mart agri­cul­ture. The Saint Lu­cia Devel­op­ment Bank is go­ing to be there and the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor tells me peo­ple can come in and speak about the low-in­ter­est loans they’re of­fer­ing Saint Lu­cians for so­lar­iza­tion of houses, busi­nesses and agri­cul­ture.”

Ro­mu­lus says GEF will also be rep­re­sented on Mon­day and Tues­day to in­ter­view any­one who wishes to speak with the or­gan­i­sa­tion about po­ten­tial com­mu­nity projects for which they may need grant fund­ing. He urged all Saint Lu­cians, from stu­dents to po­lit­i­cal and busi­ness lead­ers, to make a spe­cial ef­fort to visit Cas­tries dur­ing the two-day fair.

--- Keryn Nel­son

(L-R) Giles Ro­mu­lus, Na­tional Co­or­di­na­tor of GEF SGP UNDP, Char­main St. Remy, Pres­i­dent of Women on a Mis­sion Out­reach Inc., and John King of In­ter-Amer­i­can In­sti­tute for Co­op­er­a­tion and Agri­cul­ture.

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