Way cleared for regional trade in poultry, poultry products

poultry farmAs the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) continues to move steadily towards increasing intra-regional and food security, nine poultry processing plants in the Region have been approved to trade among Member States.

The approval came on Friday 6 October, at the 71st Special Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) on Agriculture at the CARICOM Secretariat, Georgetown, Guyana.

The poultry plants from six CARICOM Member States – Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago – were cleared to sell poultry products intra-regionally after they were assessed by Regional Risk Assessments Teams and met the sanitary requirements to enter the CARICOM Market. Caribbean Agricultural Health and Food Safety Agency (CAHFSA) coordinated the assessments and the process of review and finalisation by the  CARICOM Committee of Chief Veterinary Officers.

Representatives from the Caribbean Poultry Association, the Caribbean Agribusiness Association and other delegates at the 71st Special Meeting of the COTED at the CARICOM Secretariat, 6 October, 2017
Representatives from the Caribbean Poultry Association, the Caribbean Agribusiness Association and other delegates at the 71st Special Meeting of the COTED at the CARICOM Secretariat, 6 October, 2017

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Effects of climate change in focus at Agriculture Meeting

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The detrimental effect of climate change on the Region was brought in to sharp focus as a special Meeting of Agriculture Ministers got underway at the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana, on Friday.

At the opening of the 71st Special Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic development (COTED), Chairman, His Excellency Soeresh Algoe, Agriculture Minister of Suriname, the Hon.Noel Holder, Minister of Agriculture of Guyana, and Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, CARICOM Secretary-General, spoke of the responses that were necessary to confront climate change.

The Meeting is being held as the Region is dealing with the impact of two category five hurricanes. Hurricane Irma devastated Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, Anguilla, St. Maarten,  and St. Barts, It significantly damaged The Bahamas and Haiti, and affected St. Kitts and Nevis. Hurricane Maria left massive destruction in Dominica. The agriculture sectors in Barbuda and Dominica were decimated. (more…)

Following unprecedented hurricanes, resilience in agriculture in focus at Agriculture Meeting

Mr Raymon Nojodimedjo, Deputy Director, Planning and Development, Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, Chair of the Meeting of Officials.

With the recent widespread damage, and destruction of the agriculture sector in several Caribbean territories at the forefront of their minds, regional agriculture officials began meeting in Georgetown on Wednesday. A key focus of their meeting is building resilience of Caribbean agriculture to natural disasters.

Representatives of CARICOM Member States and regional institutions are holding discussions at the CARICOM Secretariat from which they will put forward recommendations for the consideration of Ministers at their 71st Special Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) Agriculture on Friday.

At the beginning of the day-long preparatory session, Chairman of the Meeting of Officials, Dr. Raymon Nojodimedjo, Deputy Director, Planning and Development, Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries of Suriname, expressed sympathy and support to those who were affected by the hurricanes which left a trail of destruction in the Region within the past month.

Agriculture and Climate Change-related Matters is a key agenda item of the Meeting. The use of the Regional Standardised Audit Instrument Tool to integrate Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management considerations into the work programmes of the planning units of the Ministries of Agriculture, will be emphasised to attain greater levels of readiness to deal with climatic catastrophes.

Additionally, the Ministers will be asked to support the development of the Strategy for Emergency Assistance to the Agriculture Sector, and the establishment of Regional Agriculture Emergency Sub-Committee, for a more coordinated response to disasters in the agriculture sector.

Please see more photos of the Meeting of Officials
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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

What does ‘climate-smart agriculture’ really mean? New tool breaks it down

Water catchment tank (IPS photo)

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Aug 14 2017 (IPS) - A Trinidadian scientist has developed a mechanism for determining the degree of climate-smart agriculture (CSA) compliance with respect to projects, processes and products.

This comes as global attention is drawn to climate-smart agriculture as one of the approaches to mitigate or adapt to climate change.

Steve Maximay says his Climate-Smart Agriculture Compliant (C-SAC) tool provides a certification and auditing scheme that can be used to compare projects, processes and products to justify the applicability and quantum of climate change funding.

“C-SAC provides a step-by-step, checklist style guide that a trained person can use to determine how closely the project or process under review satisfies the five areas of compliance,” Maximay told IPS.

“This method literally forces the examiner to consider key aspects or goals of climate-smart agriculture. These aspects (categories) are resource conservation; energy use; safety; biodiversity support; and greenhouse gas reduction.”

Read more at: Inter Press Service