CARICOM Ministers of Agriculture hold talks on regional food security

Chair of the 104th Special Meeting of COTED, The Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha, Minister of Agriculture, Guyana.

(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) – The Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) is meeting today Friday 22 July to continue deliberations on advancing the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) food systems agenda.

At the just concluded 43rd Meeting of the Conference of CARICOM Heads of Government, Heads mandated the COTED to look at initiatives and programmes that will remove non-tariff barriers to intra-regional trade. The discussion on 22 July will therefore seek to move this mandate forward by rationalising several attendant issues including the approval of the Draft CARICOM Trade Policy for Animals and Animal Products.

COTED will also advance matters arising from the Ministerial Task Force on Food Production and Food Security (MTF), which is tasked with accelerating the CARICOM agri-food systems agenda to address the current food security challenges and rising food prices. The MTF is also responsible for rationalising a pathway for CARICOM to achieve its 25 by 2025 Vision which is the reduction of its food import bill by 25 percent by the year 2025.

CARICOM Ministers of Agriculture are also expected to discuss intra-regional market access, market access from extra-regional sources, the role of private sector investment in agriculture, and issues pertaining to the Common External Tariff (CET).

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