Coconut boost for Barbados, Region

More-coconuts-974x365 BGIS

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

Cucumber seedlings sprouting 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

Agencies collaborate to tackle praedial larceny

GLDA CEO, Nigel Cumberbatch (Photo via Ministry of Agriculture)
GLDA CEO, Nigel Cumberbatch (Photo via Ministry of Agriculture)

The issue of Praedial Larceny and its negative impact on local farmers was the focus of a workshop held at the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) headquarters in Mon Repos, East Coast Demerara.

The GLDA, Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Law Enforcement from Jamaica and local farmers have joined forces in an effort to tackle the theft of farm produce.

Chief Executive Officer of GLDA, Nigel Cumberbatch, said that the Authority views the act of praedial larceny as a serious offence and is committed to supporting any initiative that seeks to protect farmers from losing their livestock.

He stated that “we are committed to ensuring that if we cannot eliminate larceny of agricultural products, we can at least reduce it to the point where it does not affect the farming community.”

CARICOM representative, Nigel Durant observed that agriculture is a business and should be treated as such. To that effect, Praedial Larceny severely impacts the profitability of businesses and the incentive to continue in the field. With the exception of Jamaica, most other member states have not successfully addressed the issue.

Read more at: Guyana Ministry of Agriculture 

CARDI taking action to help rebuild agriculture in Barbuda, Dominica

CARDI Executive Director, Mr. Barton Clarke speaks about reviving agriculture in Barbuda, Dominica from Caribbean Community on Vimeo.

As we observe World Food Day today, we tell you that the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) has already begun taking action to restore the recently battered agriculture sectors in Barbuda and Dominica.

And while he lamented the destruction of thriving sectors that was caused by monster storms, Hurricanes Irma and Maria, Executive Director of CARDI, Mr. Barton Clarke, said that agriculture in the two islands will flourish again.

He said that CARDI had participated in the initial assessments of the damage to the islands, and was now looking at what their needs are. He said that the regional institution will liaise with the Secretariat of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) which has been mobilising assistance in agriculture. In an interview with CARICOM Today on 5 October, ahead of the 71st Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development on Agriculture at the CARICOM Secretariat, Mr. Clarke said that the Region had some internal capacity to assist immediately to plant short-term crops. (more…)

COTED green-lights Agriculture Regional Emergency Response team

What is left of a greenhouse in Dominica

The Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) has approved the Regional Agriculture Emergency Response Sub-Committee to  provide prompt  action to help the agriculture sector in Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Member States to rebound after natural disasters.

Approval came at the 71st Special Meeting of the COTED on Agriculture held at the CARICOM Secretariat on Friday 6 October, 2017.

The 71st Meeting of COTED approved the Emergency Response Sub-Committee
The 71st Special Meeting of COTED on Agriculture approved the Emergency Response Sub-Committee

The Sub-Committee will include representatives from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), the Caribbean Plant Health Directors (CPHD), the Caribbean Animal Health Network (CaribVET), the CARICOM Secretariat, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC). Belize and Antigua and Barbuda will also be represented on the sub-committee.

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