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CTA to forge more linkages for Caribbean produce

Ivan Cairo, Caribbean News Now, 26 Oct 2016

October 27, 2016
  • Caribbean

GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands -- The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) is working on strengthening linkages for agricultural producers in the Caribbean to expand their markets. 

According to CTA director, Michael Hailu, one of CTA's projects in cooperation with the Caribbean Farmers Network and the Sandals Foundation, is working to strengthen linkages to domestic, regional and export markets in eight countries. CTA plans to expand this project to several other countries including Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Speaking at the opening of the Caribbean Week of Agriculture 2016 (CWA-2016) in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Hailu further noted that CTA was working with farmers and their respective organisations to improve value chain initiatives, which have great potential, such as roots and tubers and fruits and vegetables.

"This will enable a significant number of farmers to increase their revenues by upgrading products, processes and productivity to match market demands," Hailu said.

One of the success stories is the Dominican Republic, the CTA official said, where a sound relationship was established between agro-producers and a grassroots financing entity.

"Some of the most encouraging results of our work involves linking producers to private financial institutions, and I believe there is tremendous scope for building on this approach in the future," Hailu argued.

The CTA is also playing a major role in advancing use of mobile applications and other information communications technology (ICT) platforms in developing agriculture.

"Given CTA's comparative advantage of working in the area of ICTs, especially in training and supporting young ICT entrepreneurs, we promote ICTs, more specifically mobile apps, to enhance various aspects of the value chain," he said.