Great Opportunity to Learn About Healthy Eating
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.