Spotlight on Youth in Agriculture

Today, we begin to place the spotlight on agriculture through a series of videos, compliments of Tech4agri that feature young people in the sector. Join us, each week as we showcase this web series made by youth for youth to assist in their agri-business endeavours.

Caribbean urged to prepare for heatwaves

Caribbean urged to prepare for heatwaves (Photo via Jamaica Gleaner)
Caribbean urged to prepare for heatwaves (Photo via Jamaica Gleaner)

KINGSTOWN, St Vincent (CMC): Caribbean islands especially those in the south have been urged to prepare for heatwaves as they will be a feature of the 2017 rainy season.

That is the warning issued by Dr Simon Mason of the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology in his presentation  – ‘Caribbean Heat outlooks: Research and product development’ to the participants attending the Caribbean Regional Climate Outlook Forum which opened here on Wednesday.

Simon said in the past, not a lot of emphasis was placed on heatwaves but data gathered from islands over the years, has shown that this  is a growing challenge. “It’s time to investigate the problems of heatwaves and the best way to deal with it in this region,” said Simon who pointed out that in the United States of America heatwaves kills more people than tornadoes while in 2003 heatwaves killed 30,000 in France.

Read more at: Jamaica Gleaner

Roots and tubers: A potential cash cow in the Caribbean

Slimdown 360’s instant mash products have a shelf life of 1 year (Photo via Spore)
Slimdown 360’s instant mash products have a shelf life of one year (Photo via Spore)

Root and tuber crops (RTCs) such as arrowroot, cassava, dasheen, eddoe, ginger, sweet potato, tania and yam are farmed throughout the Caribbean and remain a staple of traditional diets. Belize, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Suriname and some eastern Caribbean countries are self-sufficient in RTCs with Jamaica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines leading regional exports.

However, with the capacity to create value-added products for local consumption and export, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has identified cassava, sweet potato and yam with the highest potential for development.

RTC crops can withstand up to 98 per cent of hurricane disasters and have good potential even as regional climate patterns change, as planting material can be sourced locally, and farmers are familiar with RTC production. RTCs are also valued for their ‘good’ complex carbohydrates, which provide better glycemic indices (food’s effect on a person’s blood sugar), compared to imported refined carbohydrates; they are also high in dietary fibre and low in calorie count, which are important considerations for health-conscious markets in Europe.

Read more at: SPORE

Strengthening Cooperation – three Caribbean Community Institutions sign MOU

CROSQ_CAHFSA_CRFM_sign
Signing – (l-r) Mr. Lindley Simeon Collins – CAHFSA; Mr. Milton Haughton – CRFM; Mr. Deryck Omar – CROSQ

Three Caribbean Community Institutions, Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) through which to cooperate, coordinate and combine their resources, experience and expertise in the discharge of their obligations to the Community.

The signing by the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ), the Caribbean Agricultural Health and Food Safety Agency (CAHFSA), and the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), took place on the sidelines of the First Joint Meeting of the CARICOM Secretary-General, Heads of Caribbean Community Institutions, and  the CARICOM Committee of Ambassadors, at the Pegasus Hotel, Georgetown, Guyana. (more…)

Working together – CARICOM SG, Ambassadors and Heads of Community Institutions

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Work to strengthen the Region’s governance and implementation structures continued Thursday with the first joint meeting of the CARICOM Secretary-General, Heads of Community Institutions and the CARICOM Committee of Ambassadors  at the Pegasus Hotel, Georgetown, Guyana.

Thursday’s exchanges followed the fifth Meeting of the Committee of Ambassadors, held at the CARICOM Secretariat, also in Georgetown, on Wednesday. The Committee plays an important role in the governance structure of the Community, providing strategic advice and recommendations to the Community Council towards advancing the integration movement.

The Heads of Community Institutions  meet regularly with the Secretary-General to seek to harmonise efforts towards implementation of the CARICOM Strategic Plan.

Several participants joined the meeting via video conference.