Caribbean Ministers see potential for increased cooperation, technology transfer with Argentina, Brazil

Eleven Caribbean Ministers and Deputy Ministers of Agriculture today participated in a working session in Buenos Aires to share experiences with members of the Agricultural Commission of the Argentine Senate, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) said in a press release.

The visitors expressed an interest in strengthening ties with the South American country in order to acquire knowledge and innovation, primarily in the use of applied technology in agricultural production.

Officials from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Guyana, Haiti, Suriname, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Haiti and Saint Lucia, as well as high level representatives from CARICOM, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and the Caribbean Research and Development Institute (CARDI) met in Argentina, as part of a mission led by Manuel Otero, IICA Director General. The mission also included the participation of Caio Rocha, Brazil’s National Secretary of Food and Nutritional Security.

IICA indicated that the schedule also included a meeting in the Senate with President of the Agricultural Commission, Alfredo De Ángeli, and a visit to the National Centre for Agricultural Research at the National Agricultural Technology Institute (INTA) to tour research facilities that specialise in Natural Resources, Climate and Water and Domestic Agriculture.  They were accompanied by INTA’s President, Juan Balbín, who made repeated reference to the institution’s activities and its interaction with the private and academic sectors.  Also on the agenda were meetings with the Minister of Agroindustry, Luis Miguel Etchevehere and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Daniel Riamondi.


Caribbean fish stocks dwindling as illegal fishing intensifies

Biodiversity in the Caribbean Sea is at serious risk, scientists are warning, with illegal fishing reducing fish stocks and placing the marine environment under increasing strain.

“I cannot say what it’s due to or if there are external factors, but certainly in my more than 30 years in the profession I have seen a reduction in fish,” says Efe Vernal Nicholls, president of the Caribbean Network of Fishermen’s Associations.

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), between 20 and 30 percent of fishing in Caribbean waters is illegal, unreported and unregulated, and worth as much as US$750 million every year.

Read more at: TelesurTV

Minister Samuda calls on Caribbean to revisit agricultural priorities

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, the Hon. Karl Samuda says that the Caribbean needs to revisit its agricultural priorities.

Chief among these priorities are the region’s trade policy, food security, and its response to climate change, which he said is now emerging as one of the most significant impediments to growth and development.

Other priorities are nutrition and livelihood security; rural and agricultural development; local, regional and international market expansion.

Minister Samuda was participating in a panel discussion on “Agrifood trade in Latin America and the Caribbean in the current international context”, on day three of the 35th Session of the FAO Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean being held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, Rose Hall, Montego Bay from March 5-8, 2018.

Read more at: Jamaica Information Service

FAO Director-General calls for collaboration to combat malnutrition, obesity

Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), José Graziano da Silva, has called for a multi-sectoral approach in combating malnutrition and obesity, which are on the rise in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

Speaking on day two of the FAO’s 35th Regional Conference for the LAC at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James on Tuesday (March 6), Mr. da Silva said there is a “disturbing change”, which has resulted in the prevalence of malnourished people increasing in countries of the Caribbean, South and Central American subregions.

“The prevalence of malnourished people increased in 2016. This includes here in Latin America and the Caribbean, where the numbers went up from 20 million to 42.2 million. So now it is time to take stock of the promise made, then find the reasons for this setback and draw conclusions on how to move forward to make sure that the numbers go down,” he said.

Read more at: Jamaica Information Service