On Monday, December 12, 2022, thirty-five individuals successfully completed the Agroecology program; however, only twenty-seven individuals were present and were awarded certificates for the program, which was hosted by the Department of Community Development, Family & Humanitarian Affairs and Spaceless Gardens. Minister Ottley states “he considers himself to be blessed to be part of the second and third award ceremony and extended congratulations to the Ministry and the Department for working tirelessly and never let me down up to now”. As the Minister of TEAT in charge agriculture and this program blends in perfectly as agriculture is something I intend to push more when it
relates to TEATT, he said. “We are actually trying to increase the budget and working along with Mr. Wyatt we are trying to increase the knowledge and importance of sustainability on St. Maarten. The world is facing extreme prices and food shortage so for us to grow our own and know how to do it properly is something we need to move forward with. The Minister reminded the audience “in everything there are trials and tribulations. Nothing won’t happen as fast as we want it but once we commit ourselves we are on the right path. And I can tell you today that by looking at the room being full we are on the right path.
So I would like to congratulate each and every one of you and I hope that seed that was planted in you, you can pass it on and we can continue to grow St. Maarten in the right direction. Mr. Denicio Wyatt acknowledged and thanked the department of community development for working tirelessly at activities in the community until 7pm, 8pm or 9pm at night. Nothing comes easy but consistency brings success over a course of time no matter the type of goal one is trying to achieve. We will have our trials and tribulations but how we deal with them is what really matters. Mr. Wyatt said that we are living in some really trying times and hoped that the classes brought a certain level of knowledge and compassion most of all for what is going on in the world today. Because no matter what happens in the world today it will affect each and every one of us. He went on to say there is always hope and if there is hope that means
we have a chance and if we have a chance that means we have a choice. And if we have the will power to make the right choice we can take things in the right direction. “I feel way blessed to know that I played just a little part in each and every one of your lives to share my knowledge and story to bring you inspiration towards achieving the greater purpose for St. Maarten regarding agriculture and food security so that it can come to the point and be affordable and sustainable”, he said. Two recipients said they “learned a lot from Denicio and his life story motivated many.” One recipient admitted her surprise to learn that St. Maarten was an exporter of crops to the surrounding islands. Another recipient added “I planted fruit trees which took a while to grow but when they start to bear, they never stopped”. “I can proudly testify that it can work, we can grow food here and make a difference. The Agroecology program
started on Monday May 16 and ended on Monday July 16, 2022. The program combined both theory and
hands training focused on home gardening, food security and encouraged the community to “grow what
they eat and eat what they grow”. Moreover, participants learned the importance of “climate change”,
“seed germination”, “plant science”, “layers of the soil”, “soil types”, “plant-production systems”, “plant
care and maintenance”, “history of agriculture on sxm”, agri-business and creating resilient and sustainable communities. The workshops took place three times per week at the Eco St. Maarten Agricultural Research and Development Foundation in St. Peters.