CARICOM Agriculture Ministers meet in preparation for FAO Regional Conference

Ms. Nisa Surujbally, Programme Manager, Agriculture and Industry at the CARICOM Secretariat (standing) consults with chair of the meeting, the Hon. Clarence Rambharat, Minister of Agriculture, Trinidad and Tobago. Also in photo are, from left, Richard Brown, Ph.D., Director Single Market and Sectoral Programmes, CARICOM Secretariat,  Mr. Joseph Cox, ASG, Trade and Economic Integration, CARICOM Secretariat; and Lystra Fletcher-Paul, PhD., FAO Sub-regional Coordinator
Ms. Nisa Surujbally, Programme Manager, Agriculture and Industry at the CARICOM Secretariat (standing) consults with chair of the meeting, the Hon. Clarence Rambharat, Minister of Agriculture, Trinidad and Tobago. Also in photo are, from left, Richard Brown, Ph.D., Director Single Market and Sectoral Programmes, CARICOM Secretariat, Mr. Joseph Cox, ASG, Trade and Economic Integration, CARICOM Secretariat; and Lystra Fletcher-Paul, PhD., FAO Sub-regional Coordinator

Ministers of Agriculture of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on Monday began preparations for the 35th Food and Agriculture (FAO) Regional Conference which will be held in Jamaica, 5-8 March, 2018. The preparatory consultation was held at the CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana, with some delegates joining the discussions via videoconferencing.

The regional conference in Montego Bay will help the FAO to strategise for effective responses to the priorities and challenges that the Region faces in the coming biennium.

Minister of Agriculture, Lands and Fisheries of Trinidad and Tobago, the Hon. Clarence Rambharat chaired the consultation at which the Director-General of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), Permanent Secretaries and other officials in the sector were present.

Please see photos more here (more…)

New IICA Director General to visit CARICOM Secretariat

From left: Dr. Arlington Chesney, former Regional Director of IICA; Dr. Manuel Ortero, Director General of IICA; Ms. Nisa Surujbally, Programme Manager, Agriculture and Industry, CARICOM Secretariat; Mr. Diego Montenegro, Director of Management and Regional Integration of IICA
Ms. Nisa Surujbally, Programme Manager, Agriculture and Industry at the CARICOM Secretariat (second from right) with, from left, Dr. Arlington Chesney, former Regional Director of IICA; Dr. Manuel Ortero, new Director General of IICA; and Mr. Diego Montenegro, Director of Management and Regional Integration of IICA

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.

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Boosting cassava production to improve Region’s food security

new-cassava-grinder-fond-assau-agro-processing

“Cassava is the prioritized commodity for this project, and currently results in a two percent reduction on the food import bill within CARICOM.” Saint Lucia, as one of these CARICOM countries, must continue to contribute to the import bill’s further decline.” – Regional Project Coordinator for the FAO, Vermaran Extavour
Minister for Agriculture, Hon Ezechiel Joseph, has voiced continued support for Saint Lucia’s cassava industry as part of a wider plan to improve food security in the Caribbean region.

The minister’s comments were made earlier this year, at an inception workshop and cassava value chain cluster meeting, that was held to sensitise at least five important stakeholders—the Network of Rural Women Producers (Babonneau and Micoud Cluster), the Fond Assau Agro Processing Plant, the Bureau of Standards, the Development Bank and the Bakery Industry—of developments in the root and tuber crop (cassava) industry.

“This project came to fruition as a result of a request to the FAO for assistance in addressing processing issues in relation to the cassava crop, especially because one of the readily-available infrastructures— the Fond Assau Agro Processing Plant—had been in the retrofitting and refurbishing mode for the past six years,” the minister said. The assistance of the FAO allowed for facility upgrades to food and safety compliance standards, and the ability to accommodate the cluster groups of the Saint Lucia Network of Rural Women Producers on a full-time basis.

Read more at: Office of the Prime Minister Saint Lucia

Parliamentarians fighting against hunger in Latin America, Caribbean

Bridgetown, Barbados  – The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), Sub-Regional Office for the Caribbean in Barbados, last month hosted parliamentarians from 13 CARICOM Member States to address the issues of food insecurity, hunger and malnutrition in the region.

Member States represented were: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.  The participants featured one parliamentary representative of the sitting government and one representative of the parliamentary opposition – per country.

FAO has worked with countries around the world to establish parliamentary fronts against hunger, the aim being for both government and opposition, through a bipartisan parliamentary motion, to express a commitment and to work together towards reducing hunger to zero in their countries. (more…)

Regional Climate Centre established in Barbados

Director of the Regional Climate Centre Adrian Trotman
Director of the Regional Climate Centre Adrian Trotman

Barbados is now home to the first Regional Climate Centre (RCC) in the western hemisphere.

The centre, which is housed at the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) in Husbands, St James, was financed to the tune of US$5 million by the United States Agency for International Development.

United States Ambassador to Barbados and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Linda Taglialatela noted the importance of having such a centre in the region.

“In the past two decades, the Caribbean has experienced several natural phenomena, including floods, droughts, and hurricanes, which can threaten economic growth. Also, the region presently accounts for seven of the world’s top 30 water-scarce countries, and Barbados is in the top ten of that list,” she said.

Read more at: Barbados Today