On Thursday, 29 March 2018, the Market Access and Rural Enterprise Development Programme (MAREP) officially closed and bid farewell to its beneficiaries, stakeholders and field staff. The closing ceremony and exposition was held at the Grenada Trade Centre, Morne Rouge, St George from 2pm – 5pm.
The closing ceremony climaxed 6 years (2011-2017) with 1 year extension for implementation (2017-2018) of of rural development within the 50 rural communities of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique. Throughout the life of the programme, remarkable strides were made in assisting male and female youths including single-headed, young mothers with skills training, income generating, business support to entrepreneurs, market access to farmers and agroprocessors and capacity building support to community based organisations.
Programme Manager, Byron Campbell highlighted the importance the staff played in the programme’s success. Honourable Gregory Bowen Minister for Infrastructure Development, Public Utilities, Energy, Transport, and Implementation, gave the feature address. Brief remarks were provided by the financiers: Fitzroy James, the Director of Economics and Technical Cooperation at the Ministry of Finance on behalf of the Government of Grenada; Danessa Joseph, Community and Youth Officer for St Andrew and St David on behalf of the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD). In addition, members of the Programme Steering Committee, other government officials, beneficiaries and specially invited guests were in attendance.
Spotlight was also focused on MAREP’s accomplishment delivered by Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, Nneka Louis-Obike,
- 87 projects received assistance from the Rural Investment Fund
- 997 beneficiaries received assistance from the Construction and Rehabilitation of 17 farm access roads
- 2 bridges which supported better access to farm production
- 1 Park House Project.
a total investment of approximately EC$5.8 million.
Under Community Empowerment, capacity building assistance was given to 100 community groups in Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique. 700 youths received Vocational and Skills Training (VST) in 18 occupational areas, with 482 youths graduating with a Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ).186 are employed under the Youth Employment opportunities.
- Outstanding beneficiaries were also presented awards during the closing ceremony.
- Most Innovative Project: Grenada Innovative Farmers Cooperative
- Uprising Star in Agriculture: Sebastian Stiell Jr
- Most Environmentally Friendly Project: St Patrick Environmental and Community Tourism Organisation (SPECTO)
- Best Use of Local Resources: Catherine’s Strip Curtains
- Most Sustainable Project: Calabash Creation
- Youth Contribution in Eco-Tourism: Mt Rich Youth Cultural Environmental Development Organisation (MYCEDO)
- Exceptional Contribution in Agriculture: North East Famers Organisation
- Excellence in Community Impact: River Sallee Fathers Organisation
- Exceptional Contribution to Agroprocessing: Carriacou Association of Small Agro Processors (CASAP)
- Most Committed Project: Mt Tranquil Local Community Development Organisation Poultry Project
An exposition of 21 MAREP beneficiaries highlighted their products and services: eco-tourism, agricultural supplies, fresh produce, craft, jewellery, clothing and agroprocessing. MAREP is therefore pleased to have successfully completed the Implementation Phase of the Programme.