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

Devastation brought out generosity, spirit of togetherness – CARICOM Chairman

Chairman of CARICOM, Dr. the Rt Hon Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada
Chairman of CARICOM, Dr. the Rt Hon Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada





There is no doubt that 2017 has been a most eventful year for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).  We experienced a scale of multi-country devastation never before seen in the Region as two category five Hurricanes, Irma and Maria, raged through the Caribbean within two weeks.

The Governments and people of our Community immediately responded to assist their brothers and sisters with the generosity and spirit of togetherness which is our trademark. I therefore must pay tribute to those who so willingly extended a helping hand in the hour of need of our brothers and sisters in the stricken countries.

Even before the hurricane season was over, the resilient people that we are, we had begun to rally. We determined that we could use the rebuilding process to become the first climate resilient region in the world.  Recognising that we did not have the resources to achieve that goal on our own, we sought the assistance of the international community.

First, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), we organised the CARICOM-UN High Level Pledging Conference, “Building a More Climate-Resilient Community,” which was held in November at the UN Headquarters in New York.  It brought together nearly 400 high-level representatives from governments, multilateral and civil society organisations and the private sector, and raised more than US$1.3 billion in pledges and over $1 billion in loans and debt relief.

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Coconut boost for Barbados, Region

Barbados and the region can have a bustling coconut industry, despite being smaller than major growers such as Indonesia and The Philippines.

This assertion was made by Maurice Wilson, who is the Regional Coconut Industry Coordinator at the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI).

He was speaking with the Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS) following the inaugural meeting of the National Stakeholders Platform (NSP) on the coconut industry, recently held at the Ministry of Agriculture’s Graeme Hall offices.

Barbados is among 11 CARIFORUM countries participating in a European Union (EU)-funded Caribbean Coconut Industry Development project. The Euro 4 million project, being executed by CARDI, is geared towards enhancing the competitiveness of the region’s coconut industry, thereby ensuring food security, creating jobs and generating revenue.

Mr. Wilson gave an overview of the undertaking, and noted that the Caribbean’s coconut industry was thrown into a tailspin decades ago, after coconut oil was deemed unhealthy. “In the 1970s, the coconut industry in the region virtually collapsed, because there was a soya bean lobby, which indicated that coconut oil was bad for the system.

Read more at: Barbados Government Information Service

Food Security: A Priority in Dominica

“In spite of the devastation that is all around us, it is beautiful to see the first signs of regrowth.” – Ambassador Felix Gregoire
Tuesday, October 31, 2017 — It has been just over a month since the Eastern Caribbean’s ‘food bowl’ was left bare following a direct hit from one of the strongest hurricanes to pass through the Caribbean basin – Hurricane Maria.

Agricultural stakeholders in the sub-region, both private and public, are actively supporting efforts to ensure the future of Dominica’s agriculture sector through the replanting of fast growing crops paired with dedicated supervision and the use of quality fertilizers.

Commissioner to the OECS for the Commonwealth of Dominica, Ambassador Felix Gregoire, recently visited the replanting intervention in Roseau where crops have already begun sprouting.

Read more at: Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Press Room