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Journalists To Tackle Evidence-based Reporting On Agriculture Issues In The Caribbean

Published in The St. Kitts-Nevis Observer, 20 Sep 2013

September 20, 2013

A number of journalists from across the region will convene in Guyana next month to look at agriculture, research and development (ARD) issues in the Caribbean.
The two-day event is slated for October 4-5 and is themed "Inclusive evidence-based reporting of ARD issues in the Caribbean".

It forms part of the activities for the 12th hosting of the Caribbean Week of Agriculture (CWA) which will be held in Georgetown, Guyana.
The workshop is a collaborative effort between the Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development Institute (CARDI), the Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Co-operation ACP-EU (CTA) and the Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACM).
According to CARDI the workshop seeks to make participants aware of agriculture research and development (ARD) of particular interest in the Caribbean. Such interests include the role of ICTs in agriculture, fisheries, food and nutrition security, climate change, and other emerging issues.

"The participants will examine the scenario of media reporting of ARD issues in the Caribbean and discuss challenges and opportunities and possible solutions," said CARDI Executive Director Dr. Arlington Chesney.

The conference's agenda includes: Impact of climate change on food and nutritional security in the Caribbean; Contribution of the fisheries sector in food security and nutrition in the Caribbean; Youth and gender issues in ARD; Development of the Coconut industry in the Caribbean; and Integrated pest management.
At the end of day one facilitators Therese Burke, Wesley Gibbings and Ivan Cairo will conduct a cross-learning segment discussing with the media practitioners what are the issues that affect agriculture in general in the Caribbean, how can they be addressed, what has so far been done, and what are the missing links?

Day two's agenda comprises: ARD reporting value chain - Ministry of Agriculture perspective; Discussion in groups around collaborative linkages between farmers, researchers, GIS, journalists, news outlets and policy makers; What issues affect agricultural reporting in the Caribbean? How can they be addressed? What are the missing links? How can everybody contribute and what are the responsibilities of each stakeholder segment; Investigative reporting: definition and why it is important to ARD promotion; How can new media support/improve reporting on agriculture; Presentation of the Caribbean Strategic framework to increase coverage of agriculture issues in the Caribbean - for discussion on prioritization; and Resolutions and way forward for media coverage in the Caribbean.

The CWA will officially be launched on Oct 9 and includes a myriad of activities including workshop sessions and other fora on agriculture in all its dimensions, field trips and competitions that highlight the use of Caribbean foods in a manner that promotes healthy living, and a special meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) on Agriculture will be convened.

The Caricom Secretariat said the CWA, conceptualized by IICA, places agriculture and rural life on the "front burner" of regional integration activities.
"It aims to enable the key decision-makers in the public and private sectors to better acknowledge the importance of agriculture and rural life to the economic, social and environmental stability of the region. It is also geared to provide major stakeholders in agriculture and related sectors with an opportunity to dialogue and forge a common vision for the repositioning of agriculture and the enhancement of rural life."

By LK Hewlett