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A.R.T: Agriculture Round Table
Agriculture to 2015: Meeting Development Goals amidst Uncertainty
19 October 2010 - 20 October 2010



FANRPAN represented by its CEO, Dr Lindiwe Majele Sibanda participates at the 9th Caribbean Week of Agriculture in Grenada.

A.R.T: Agriculture Round Table A.R.T: Agriculture Round Table


Stakeholders in the field of agriculture are gathered in St. George's, Grenada, for the Ninth Caribbean Week of Agriculture, under the theme 'Sustainable Agriculture Development to Achieve Food and Nutrition Security'. Caribbean Week of Agriculture runs from 16 - 23 October, 2010.

Conceptualized by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) as part of efforts to frontally place the key agriculture sector on the Region's agenda, Caribbean Week of Agriculture was first held in 1999. It has been held in various territories across the Region and has since evolved into the Region's premier agriculture event. The CWA takes place under the patronage of the Alliance for Sustainable Development and Rural Milieu (The Alliance). The CARICOM Secretariat, IICA, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), and the Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development Institute (CARDI) are the main collaborating agencies in the mega event.

Several activities precede the official opening including workshops starting on Sunday 17 October; a meeting of Ministers of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) scheduled for Monday; the Board of Governors Meeting of CARDI; and a meeting of the Caribbean Forum on Youth in Agriculture.

Other events that will be held this year include a trade show and exhibition of high quality Caribbean primary produce and processed agricultural products and a Meeting of Ministers under whose portfolio the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) falls.

Among the workshops that will be held are the Association of Caribbean Media (ACM)-Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation (CTA) Media Workshop, a CARDI-CTA CC Workshop, and an FAO Value Chain Workshop.

Against the background of the Region's food security challenges, a one-day Special Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) on Agriculture will also place heavy emphasis on food and nutrition security. That meeting on Friday 22 October, which brings the curtain down on Caribbean Week of Agriculture, will address a plethora of issues including the arrangements to facilitate the newly launched Caribbean Agricultural Health and Food Safety Agency (CAHFSA) and the alleviation or removal of key binding constraints to agriculture.

CAHFSA was launched in March in Paramaribo, Suriname, with the aim of strengthening agricultural health and food safety and ensuring the highest standards for trade in agricultural products. Among CAHFSA's tasks are developing technical measures and protocols required to achieve Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) certification for agricultural trade. CAHFSA will also devise arrangements to reduce the use of SPS measures as non-tariff barriers, including undue administrative delays in the clearance of perishable agricultural goods as restrictions to agricultural trade.

With regard to the key binding constraints to agriculture, issues the Ministers are set to tackle include limited financing and inadequate levels of new investments; deficient and uncoordinated risk management measures; the draft plan of action for disaster risk management, including agriculture insurance; inefficient land and water distribution and management systems.

The Thirty-Fourth Special Ministerial Meeting will also pay attention to Agricultural Trade, Food Safety Policy and Legislation, a Regional Food and Nutrition Security Policy and action plan and the recommendations following meetings of the CARICOM Chief Veterinary Officers, and Caribbean Plant Health Directors.

It is anticipated that the Ministers will be updated on the Community's response to the earthquake in Haiti. CARDI was in February tasked with coordinating CARICOM's response to rebuild the agricultural sectors as part of the post disaster recovery and restoration process in Haiti. A team comprising agricultural professionals from Member States, the FAO, IICA and the University of the West Indies (UWI), is to provide technical support Haiti's Ministry of Agriculture.

A.R.T: Agriculture Round Table A.R.T: Agriculture Round Table A.R.T: Agriculture Round Table

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