Caribbean Week of Agriculture (CWA) was conceptualised by CARDI. The first meeting was held at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus, Trinidad and Tobago as a facility to place agriculture and rural life on the "front burner" of regional integration activities and in doing so 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;
- and for the major stakeholders in agriculture and related sectors to have an opportunity to dialogue and forge a common vision for the repositioning of agriculture and the enhancement of rural life.
The CWA is the premier event on the Agriculture calendar in the Caribbean Region. It is convened under the aegis of the Alliance for Sustainable Development of Agriculture and the Rural Milieu ("The Alliance").
In 2002, FAO and CARDI joined IICA and CARICOM to establish a core group which functions as the Secretariat of The Alliance. Since then, the four agencies have collaborated on the management and logistics necessary for the convening and servicing of meetings of The Alliance as well as the myriad of activities during the CWA.
In 2003, the ACP-EU Technical Centre for Cooperation on Agriculture and Rural Development (CTA) became a major partner and sponsor of the CWA activities.
To date, there have been thirteen editions of the CWA. The first was held in Trinidad and Tobago in 1999. Antigua and Barbuda hosted the Caribbean Week of Agriculture on 2012.
In 2013, Guyana hosted the Caribbean Week of Agriculture from 6-12 October at the Guyana International Convention Centre under the theme 'Linking the Caribbean for Regional Food and Nutrition Security and Rural Development'.
In 2014, the Caribbean Week of Agriculture took place in Suriname, Paramaribo from 6-12 October 2014 under the theme: “Transforming Caribbean Agriculture through Family Farming”.
CWA through the years
Trinidad and Tobago – 1999
Theme: High Value Exotic Foods.
Jamaica – 2000
Theme: The Caribbean Agriculture Policy, Challenges for Regional Food Security; Caribbean Renewable Energy and BioEnergy Action Programme; Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture in the Caribbean.
Dominican Republic – 2001
Theme: Trade and Investment Opportunities for Agri-Food Enterprises.
Guyana – 2003
Theme: Facilitating Economic Development through the Promotion of Competitive Agriculture in the Caribbean.
St Kitts and Nevis - 2005
Theme: Exploring and Enhancing Opportunities for a New Agriculture.
The Bahamas - 2006
Theme: Promoting Sustainable Development of Agricultural and Marine Resources.
Jamaica - 2007
Theme: Agriculture – Harvesting Wealth Through Tourism.
St Vincent and the Grenadines - 2008
Theme: Innovative Agriculture and Industries - Fueling Sustainable Development.
Grenada - 2010
Theme: Sustainable Agriculture Development to Achieve Food and Nutrition Security.
Dominica - 2011
Theme: Caribbean Food and Nutrition Security in a Changing Climate – The Nature Island Experience.
Antigua and Barbuda – 2012
Theme: Celebrating Youth and Gender in Caribbean Agriculture – Each Endeavouring, All Achieving.
Guyana - 2013
Theme: Linking the Caribbean for Regional Food and Nutrition Security and Rural Development.
Suriname - 2014
Theme: Transforming Caribbean Agriculture through Family Farming.