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British High Commissioner Harriet Cross visits a stall at the One Commonwealth Green Market in Santa Cruz on Saturday.

Commonwealth Day will be celebrated on Monday.

Patrons at the One Commonwealth Green Market in Santa Cruz on Saturday were not only treated to locally grown food, drink and artisan products but also rubbed shoulders with national sporting heroes like World Championships bronze boxing medalist Nigel Paul, woman boxer Tianna Guy, and Team TTO cyclist Kwesi Browne and sports nutritionist Tracy Pierre.

British High Commissioner Harriet Cross said “The British High Commission wanted to celebrate the Commonwealth which is like a family of 52 nations which share cultural, linguistic and historic elements.

“Today we’ve got the Canadian High Commission with a group of women from the Santa Rosa First Peoples Community, we have a stall from the Jamaican High Commission serving some amazing (Marley) coffee.

“We’ve got the Indian High Commission talking about biodiversity and sustainability and also got some athletes from the Commonwealth Games Association, so T&T is really well represented as well.

“We’re also serving a curry called the Birmingham Balti (naan bread and channa) because the 2022 Commonwealth Games are going to be held in Birmingham, from July 28 to August 8 and it’s time to celebrate sport as well as culture.

Canadian High Commissioner Kumar Gupta said that they were working with the Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with NAMDEVCO to support the Santa Rosa First Peoples Community in the development of their indigenous food security project.

He explained that the First Peoples were very good at growing cassava, however, the next step was packaging and marketing, hence the ministry’s technical assistance to help them bring their products to market.

Gupta stressed that it was very important in many places, including Canada’s indigenous peoples, to work with vulnerable indigenous populations.

India High Commission Second Secretary (Commerce) Lingi Chetty commented that as a country with a population of 1.3 billion people, it was more in India’s interest to focus on such issues as sustainable development, diversity and environmental consciousness.

He said besides the bilateral trade between India and T&T, India was one of the first countries through its Vaccine Maitri programme to provide COVID-19 vaccines to T&T as well as other countries early in the pandemic.

Santa Rosa First Peoples Community Chief Ricardo Bharath-Hernandez said members partnered with the Canadian High Commission and agriculture ministry on 25 acres of their land to advance cassava production and products.

President of the T&T Commonwealth Games Association Brian Lewis said he was absolutely delighted that the athletes were participating in the event promoting healthy lifestyles and eating habits, and supporting local.

He said the Birmingham Games were also an important outreach for the athletes to garner world experience.