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Strengthening agribusiness development in the Caribbean and Pacific

Improved knowledge management

September 14, 2017

A great potential to generate opportunities in agribusiness and agritourism exist in the Caribbean and Pacific But, while online ICT platforms play a major role in providing services and information, there are few such services that link businesses in these island state regions. 

To support agribusiness forum discussions and linkages through the development and use of ICT platforms, CTA works together with the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO) and the Caribbean AgriBusiness Association (CABA). The collaboration to develop these online platforms is part of a project aiming to specifically address the need for greater knowledge management to meet producers/processors needs’ in the Caribbean and Pacific and to build internal capacity of these organisations to better deliver their online services.

CABA

The CABA website provides a central location for agribusinesses to find information (farmer organisations, production nodes, business information) to help make informed decisions on investment or identify new suppliers or customers. The online platform provides visibility to agribusinesses and allows sharing of opportunities for agrifood supply, business development and finance. In addition, the website increases visibility for development partners willing to provide support or who are interested in partners or suppliers in the sector.

The website currently has 370 members. Of these, 344 are subscribers who have visited the website and added their personal information to the database or who have joined cabacaribbean.com; 23 are those who have posted listings to the online directory from their account. The current (second) phase of the project focuses on “giving us the commercial trading capacity,” states CABA CEO, Vassel Stewart. “What we are developing is a platform to sell; we are not just giving members an online presence,” emphasises Stewart. “As a not-for-profit entity we are not directly involved in arranging commercial activities but we provide a mechanism to support members. We used to have a members’ list with little information; now they have a proper profile. The feedback from members is positive, and many of them have started uploading relevant information on the website. We are expecting to have 500 members on the website by the end of the year.”

The current (second) phase of the project focuses on “giving us the commercial trading capacity,” states CABA CEO, Vassel Stewart. “What we are developing is a platform to sell; we are not just giving members an online presence,” emphasises Stewart. “As a not-for-profit entity we are not directly involved in arranging commercial activities but we provide a mechanism to support members. We used to have a members’ list with little information; now they have a proper profile. The feedback from members is positive, and many of them have started uploading relevant information on the website. We are expecting to have 500 members on the website by the end of the year.”

PIPSO

In the Pacific, CTA has supported the development of a new PIPSO website. According to PIPSO chairperson Howard Politini, the website has strengthened PIPSO’s position as “the Pacific business hub in terms of information and knowledge management” and is opening up new opportunities for future collaborations. PIPSO launched the revamped website providing relevant, updated and accessible content in November 2016 along with its new strategic plan. Politini added, “PIPSO acknowledges that the ICT revolution has made information and communication imperative for the organisation as we endeavour to communicate and share widely about the work we do. A revamped, interactive website is greatly welcomed, and this is just the beginning of enhancing our communications and knowledge management platforms.”  Politini continued, “We also had the chance to speak with other Pacific farmers’ networks and their feedback was very good. What they highlighted is that if you are looking for agribusinesses in the Pacific, thanks to our website, you will need to consult just one source, instead of many. […] They like our idea of centralising the information.”  

Download CTA's working papers

How an ICT knowledge platform can support agribusiness in the Caribbean Region

Tourism-led Agribusiness in the South Pacific Countries

Data revolution for agribusiness

http://www.cta.int/en/article/2015-11-16/the-data-revolution-for-agribusiness-km.html 

Virtual Communities supporting agritourism

http://www.cta.int/en/article/2016-03-01/virtual-communities-n-online-knowledge-sharing-to-support-agritourism.html