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CARICOM | Barbados to host regional planners forum on agriculture

A farmer manually irrigates a cornfield in Barbados. Photo credit: Desmond Brown/IPS A farmer manually irrigates a cornfield in Barbados. Photo credit: Desmond Brown/IPS
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Sept 12, CMC – A two-day forum aimed at identifying and promoting policies and institutional mechanisms to strengthen innovation systems for sustainable agriculture and rural development in the Caribbean gets underway in Barbados on Thursday.

The Guyana-based Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat said that it is collaborating with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is convening the Eleventh Regional Planners Forum on Agriculture under the theme “Innovation Systems for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development”

Agriculture 0ecsIt said the forum provides for dialogue amongst agricultural planners of the region and articulation of regional policies in agriculture, based on national and regional priorities/imperatives.

The recommendations of the forum are received by Ministers of Agriculture at the Special Meeting of the Council of Trade and Economic Development (Agriculture) for that body’s consideration.

“The forum is therefore a key body to map the growth and expansion of the agricultural sector of CARICOM and realisation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME),” it added.

During the two-day forum, the estimated 70 delegates including for the first time, representatives of several Latin American countries, who will be provide insights and information on the activities in their respective countries that propel the adoption of innovation systems for sustainable agriculture and rural development.

“Emphasis has been placed on active participation of delegates and on knowledge sharing and there will be break-out sessions to allow all participants to contribute to issues that have been identified.

“The analysis and discussion will thus be based on a critical view of public policy and institutional frameworks and what must be done to be more facilitative of the development and adoption of innovative proposals to meet current demands of the countries and local communities in these three areas that are critical for the expansion of the agricultural sector. “

The Secretariat noted that the recent passage of Hurricane Irma and its devastating impacts on some of our Caribbean countries have served as a grim reminder of the impacts of climate change on vulnerable Small Island Developing States with limited natural resource base.

“It underscores even more the need for climate smart agriculture to be a main component of agricultural planning and national disaster preparedness plans. In this regard, planners would examine the predicted impacts of climate change on the agriculture sector and the adverse effects on food and nutrition security in the region and the innovation strategies and policies needed to build resilience and promote sustainable natural resources management systems.”

The final recommendations of the forum will be presented to the 71st Special Meeting of the Council of Trade and Economic Development (COTED) to be held in Guyana October 4-6.

  • Countries: CARICOM