CDB, FAO strengthen partnership towards achieving agriculture goals in Region

March 6, 2018, Montego Bay, Jamaica – The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on Monday signed an agreement to strengthen their partnership to help countries in the Region achieve key development goals in agriculture.

The Framework Cooperation Agreement makes provisions for CDB to partner with FAO to provide technical assistance for projects financed by the Bank. It will also allow countries with common membership in both organisations to directly engage FAO using loan or grant funds provided by CDB.

“CDB welcomes this new Agreement, which will broaden and strengthen collaboration between our Bank and FAO, which has been ongoing since 1986. Today, through the signing of this document, we are opening the door for our regional members to achieve even greater development gains in agriculture through our partnership,” said Daniel Best, Director of Projects, CDB, who signed the Agreement on behalf of the Bank.

 “We need closer ties between FAO and other development partners such as the development banks, if we are to tackle the main challenges that threaten regional food security – rising hunger and overweight, rural poverty and climate change”, said Lystra Fletcher-Paul, FAO’s Subregional Representative for the Caribbean.

 For more than three decades, CDB and FAO have partnered on several interventions, including the development of an Agricultural Water Investment Plan for Belize; a study on the Feasibility of Rainwater Harvesting in the Caribbean; an Evaluation of Greenhouse Technology in Crop Production; and studies in support of CDB’s preparation and appraisal of agricultural development projects in Jamaica.

 During the signing ceremony, Best also announced that CDB and FAO are collaborating on a study, “The State of Agriculture in the Caribbean”, scheduled for completion in May. It will detail key trends in agriculture in the Bank’s borrowing member countries, and highlight related opportunities for investments to support social and economic growth, poverty reduction, and sustainability.

 The two organisations signed the Agreement in Montego Bay, Jamaica at the start of the FAO’s 35th Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean, which is being attended by Ministers of agriculture, education, environment, health and social development from its member countries.

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.

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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