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.


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

Saint Lucia adopts climate-smart cassava cultivation, encourages production of blended bread

The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) is spearheading a project which will not only increase the cultivation of cassava throughout the Region but also encourages the production of cassava blended bread as a healthier alternative to the traditional white bread.

Cassava is extensively cultivated as an annual crop in tropical and subtropical regions for its edible, starchy, tuberous root which is a major source of carbohydrates. The Ministry of Health and Wellness has collaborated with the Ministry of Agriculture on a Roots and Tubers project funded by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). National Coordinator for the project, Marnus Cherry said among the benefits of this project is a projected increase in sweet cassava production island wide.

“It’s a crop that is drought resistant, so you can call it a climate smart crop and cassava has been one of the root crops most researched by researchers and other scientists. It also has a better finished product as compared to sweet potato and other root and tuber crops.”

Another component of the project is the value added aspect with the production of cassava mash which is used to make cassava blended bread. The bread is currently being produced by at least four bakeries on island. Manager for Manees Bakery, Sylvia Cadasse said the only drawback is an increased cost in production due to the refrigeration of cassava mash.

Blended cassava rolls were a hit at the Caribbean Week of Agriculture in the Cayman Islands in 2016
Blended cassava rolls were a hit at the Caribbean Week of Agriculture in the Cayman Islands in 2016


New IICA Director General to visit CARICOM Secretariat

New Director General of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Dr. Manuel Otero, has signalled his intention to visit the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat soon.

The indication came during a meeting with CARICOM Programme Manager, Agriculture and Industry, Ms. Nisa Surujbally, shortly after his inauguration earlier this month in San Jose, Costa Rica. Ms. Surujbally represented CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque at Dr. Otero’s swearing-in ceremony.