Sustainable and profitable value chains in the Caribbean

CWA, Monday 24 October, 10:45 to 18:30 and Tuesday 25, 08:30 to 12:30, Cayman Islands, 2016

The Government of Cayman Islands in collaboration with the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) Secretariat and other partners, the Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation (CTA), is organising the 2016 Caribbean Week of Agriculture, from 24 – 28 October 2016 in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.

This is an annual event that brings together key decision-makers and stakeholders from the public and private sectors that are active in the Caribbean agricultural development space. It provides a yearly platform for these stakeholders to acknowledge the importance of agriculture to the economic, social and environmental stability of the region, while also giving them the opportunity to dialogue and establish a common purpose towards repositioning agriculture and enhancing rural life.

The theme for this year’s event is “Investing in Food & Agriculture”.

Sustainable and profitable value chains in the Caribbean

Monday 24 Oct 2016

10:45-12:30
Sustainable and profitable value chains in the Caribbean (CTA)
Room Gov A

13:30-15:30
Sustainable and profitable value chains in the Caribbean (CTA) - Cont'd
Room Gov A

15:45-18:30
Sustainable and profitable value chains in the Caribbean (CTA) - Cont'd
Room Gov A

Tuesday 25 Oct 2016

8:30-10:15
Sustainable and profitable value chains in the Caribbean (CTA) - Cont'd
Room Gov A

10:45-12:30
Sustainable and profitable value chains in the Caribbean (CTA) - Cont'd
Room Gov A

 

Since June 2015, in the context of its Regional Business Plans, CTA and partners defined key priority areas to focus its interventions in the ACP regions. In the Caribbean, the area of sustainable and profitable value chains and agribusiness development has been prioritized, and is now fleshed out with specific activities in support of priority chains, like roots and tubers and fruits and vegetables. During the workshop, participants will discuss progress to date, review and update plans and strengthen partnerships.

Various partners have been engaged in specific project activities in support of specific value chains in at least one of the various segments or business support services: production, post-harvest, marketing, finance, ICTs, technology and organizational development. These include the Caribbean Farmers Network (CaFAN), CTA, the Sandals Foundation, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA), the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), Banco ADOPEM (Dominican Republic), Finance Alliance for Sustainable Trade (FAST) and others.

Participants

A maximum of 45 participants will include representatives from regional institutions, professionals involved in project activities, and subject- matter specialists.

Methodology & contents

One to two hour sessions, addressing business support services (technology, ICTs, management, finance, technology, packaging / branding) to the various segments of the value chain (production, post- harvest, marketing), spread over 1 and a half days.


Sub-session 1: Cases of capacity building of producers and producers' organisations

This session will build on the experiences and capacities of producers and producers' organisations, create synergies, and link with relevant on-going initiatives. There are currently several actions aimed at improving market access for roots and tubers in the Caribbean region. These projects are working to address some of the key constraints and on improving private/private as well as public/private collaboration. Stakeholders have expressed a desire for more capacity building on market standards as well as greater collaboration in targeting key markets.

The objective of this session is to examine progress in growing roots and tubers production and export. The expected outcome is an action plan for increasing exports of roots and tubers in two markets in the following ninety days.

Topics:

  • Progress reports for the Project "Sustainable and profitable value chains in the Caribbean led by CaFAN – Including collaboration with the Agricultural Policy Programme (APP);
  • New project – Roots and tubers in Haiti;
  • Meeting EU market standards;
  • Bunny Imports (regional sourcing and US market standards).


Sub-session 2: Cases of capacity building of producers and producers’ organisations

This session will continue to build on the experiences and capacities of producers and producers’ organisations, create synergies, and link with relevant on-going initiatives. It is widely recognised that access to quality planting material is important if the roots and tubers sectors are to expand and meet export market standards. For example, the Guyana Agriculture 2013-2020 Strategy acknowledges the need to “increase the availability and selection of cultivars and planting material.” Some initiatives have been working to address this concern. The Caribbean Agricultural Research & Development Institute (CARDI) has been at the forefront of this charge. For years it has been working to multiply planting material especially sweet potatoes. Currently, CARDI is testing many varieties of dasheen from the Pacific in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The objective of this session is to examine options for assessing specific varieties of planting materials in the various countries. The expected outcome is a decision on a framework for accessing planting material for at least one crop in at least three countries in the following sixty days.

Topics:

  • Planting materials availability;
  • Crop varieties for markets;
  • Risk assessment/management (pprevention measures for spreading of pests and diseases from planting material);
  • Strategy for increasing the availability of planting material;
  • The way forward.


Sub-session 3: Cases of ICTs to support value chains

ICTs hold powerful ways to support value chain upgrading, including climate change adaptation, production planning, and access to finance. Participants will be exposed to two innovative systems being applied in support of agricultural value chain, and to other possibilities.

The objective of this session is to examine two ICT applications for supporting agriculture production, and other possibilities as they exist in the region. The expected outcome is a decision on an ICT framework for roll out in the following sixty days.

A major weakness in many Caribbean countries is the inability to produce consistent, accurate and timely agricultural market data and forecasts. The problem is even more acute with producers and producers' organisations. The Marketing and National Importing Board (MNIB) in Grenada is a state owned entity which has been testing one tool to address this weakness. The MNIB purchases fresh produce from about 2,000 local small farmers and resells them in its five outlets and to Sandals Resorts. To keep track of its farmers, the MNIB has developed a crop forecasting system. This web-based farm-to-market information system allows the MNIB to follow crops from planting to harvesting with the intention of reducing post-harvest loses and keeping the commitment to pay farmers steady prices. The system receives the data from entries from field staff that monitors the farms as well. The system has the capability for metadata such as maps and photographs. It can generate reports on the availability of specific crops or provide the production record of a specific farmer. Hence, this system can serve as an excellent tool to facilitate production planning in terms of crop forecasting and scheduling.

CropGuard is an innovative information and communication technology (ICT) solution to the pervasive agricultural challenge of crop losses due to pests. The ICT solution utilizes a Mobile App, Web Dashboards and an Open Data API to connect agricultural stakeholders, promote knowledge management and encourage youth in agriculture. The Mobile App seeks toenhance food production by helping farmers, householders and landscapers to protect their crops through pest diagnosis, monitoring and control.

CTA and CARDI recently finalised a study on the use and uptake of ICT solutions for agriculture. Opportunities will be highlighted for possible support to specific value chains.

Topics:

  • Analysis of needs and challenges in the use of ICTs
  • Grenada crop forecasting system
  • Crop Guard (Barbados)
  • Opportunities base on study of ICT use and uptake in the Caribbean
  • Definition of ICTs adaptation and application in pilots


Sub-session 4: Cases of value chain finance (FAST)

Access to responsible productive finance and working capital are critical services for small producers to access and remain engaged in markets. One of the main actors in this area of increasing investment agriculture is FAST. FAST will lead a panel offinancial institutions, and also present the AXIIS platform, which is the connecting point between investment and agricultural producers.

The objective of this session is to share progress and experiences in accessing finance is support of market access. The expected outcome is a set of actions to promote on-going work in this field and strategies to engage with selected financial service providers and access relevant finance in support of production and marketing for specific value chains, in the following ninety days.

 

Sub-session 5: Strategies for knowledge management and M&E in value chains

Learning from experience and promoting good practices around the application of innovative tools for value chain and agribusiness development is necessary for the production of public goods that will be of benefit to large number of groups in the region seeking to engage in and support the development of sustainable and profitable value chains in the Caribbean. At the heart of this efforts should be effective mechanisms for monitoring progress and evaluation impact.

The objective of this session to share progress to date in the various projects and introduce participants to practical approaches and tools for measuring performance in value chains. The expected outcome is a framework for effective M&E framework for assessing progress and evaluate impact from the various projects, in the next sixty days.

Topics:

  • Baseline development and monitoring tools in the various projects
  • A framework for measuring performance in value chains – the experience of the Sustainable Food Lab's Share Framework for Performance Measurement–lessons learned
  • Agree actions to improve M&E in various projects


Sub-session 6: Way forward and plans for scaling up priority value chains

The objective of this session is to review and clearly articulate the decisions made during the previous sessions. The expected outcome is an action plan for each decision reached, including needed partnerships. 

Download the CTA Flagship Project for the Caribbean

Flagship Project Caribbean Brochure