Mr Michael Hailu, Director of CTA spoke to the media today during a Caribbean Week of Agriculture (CWA) briefing, It is important to bring together the various stakeholders from the perspective of policy and other areas including the farmers group so we can have transformation on the ground.
CTA supports a number of activities at the Caribbean Week of Agriculture in partnership with the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), and Inter-American Institute for Cooperation for Agriculture (IICA) including on the topics of coconut, women and youth in agriculture, marine resources and fisheries, climate change, evidence based coverage - media, information communications technologies and value chains, and agro-tourism.
Mr Hailu outlined that the development of the coconut industry in the Caribbean and Pacific has been the subject of a study supported by the European Union, the ACP Secretariat, and the CARIFORUM and Pacific Ambassadors in Brussels. The study highlighted the need for the sharing of experience from various countries and regions. He highlighted that the presence of ministerial and technical representatives from the Pacific at the Caribbean Week of Agriculture provides the opportunity for participants and governments to engage and to have exchanges between the two regions. There are many success stories to be shared between the Caribbean and Pacific since the similarities and the opportunities are present, he said.
At the Coconut Industry Development Workshop for the Caribbean Towards a Shared Vision and Road Map, Mr Hailu said, For many years the industry has been deteriorating from a number of reasons including the aging population of plantations. He added that the recommendations from the workshop will provide details on the strategies to redevelop the coconut sector at national and regional levels. The redevelopment of the sector would be beneficial to the regions since there is a huge market potential.
Dr Arlington Chesney, Executive Director, Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) praised the CTA for the collaboration and support for many years andrecommits CARDI to the continued partnership for the success of safeguarding the regions to become food secured. He said, The close working relationship between the partners CTA, FAO, CARICOM Secretariat and others became possible through the Jagdeo Initiative which provided a framework for all to operate within the region.
Dr Chesney also speaking at the media briefing said, the CTA and CARDI partnership for workshops at CWA, have been tackling the adaptation and mitigation of the impacts of climate change on agriculture in the region through a series of workshops with agricultural stakeholders. He outlined the climate change capacity building and review done over the past three years:
- how to adapt methodologies and technologies to agriculture - protected agriculture
- how to optimize water management
- Impact of climate change on biodiversity.
The fourth in the series, the Monitoring and Management of Pest Populations under a Changing Climate is discussed at the 2013 CWA. . Dr Chesney said, we will look at how to manage the economic control of pests and diseases using less pesticides because of their damage on the environment and try to find natural predators as the means of control.
CARDI has signed an agreement with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, for the exchange of planting materials as well as coconut plant materials of which they found is resilient to climate change.
He added that, There is need to organise the industry to have people working closer together. This is in the context that coconut is not only for coconut oil but for other products.
Dr Chesney said, The main thing coming out of the CWA this week, is the fact we are working together to help rid the region of poverty and hunger and to improve the quality of life of the farmer and the rural personnel.