Agriculture has been declining in the Caribbean over the last 10 years. Nevertheless, it still provides a livelihood for many, especially in rural communities, and contributes to food and nutrition security. The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has highlighted the need for the region’s agriculture to become more business oriented. Indeed, some farmers are still able to access export markets in Europe, and there is a growing interest from tourism-related markets in the Caribbean to source locally or regionally produced nutritious food and value-added products. However, many small-scale producers, women and young entrepreneurs do not profit from these markets because they lack the skills, organisational capacity and access to finance.
The project will improve the production skills and business orientation of small-scale producers and their organisations. It will also increase the knowledge and skills of small-scale producers about how to access financial services and business development information. The farmers will come to understand and engage with the policy and business environments. As well as the farmers who will be directly affected, the project could indirectly benefit 15,000 people, including members of rural households, temporary workers, women and young entrepreneurs.
At least 1,000 farmers will be using better agricultural practices by the end of the project, and 2,000 farmers will be selling produce to a variety of markets, some of them new. More than 2,500 small-scale farmers, women and young entrepreneurs will have increased access to working capital through contact with at least 10 local financial advisers. Young agricultural entrepreneurs will have access to information about how to establish start-ups in the field.
- Farmers’ organisations
- Private agro-enterprises (including those owned by young people)
- Government policy-makers
- Decision-makers in international organisations and NGOs
Local producers will be able to make better use of natural resources, including soil and water, by using climate-smart farming practices. Small-scale producers, women and young entrepreneurs will have much better access to markets and they will be able to make more profit from selling their produce. They will also be able to take out loans to help them develop their businesses. More women will be able to earn a decent income from their efforts and they will also participate more in the decisions that producers’ organisations make. Policy-makers and business people will have a better understanding of agricultural value chains and more engagement with the groups involved in the project. Hotels, supermarkets and restaurants will have access to more locally-produced nutritious foods.
The long view
The project is designed so that its results will continue to have an impact. The strategy of helping partners work together will increase the number of people involved and extend the benefits of the work. Partners will supply about half of the total resources of the project. This kind of cost-sharing approach will attract additional support from other partners. CTA’s support builds on existing efforts and strategies on the ground and helps leverage them. Key policy-makers will come to understand the benefits of the project and thus support wider application of its interventions and capacity-building efforts.
This project aims to equip small-scale producers, women and young entrepreneurs to access and profit from domestic, regional and international markets. We will work with regional organisations and the private sector to target at least 3,000 farmers in Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and The project has activities that will improve the supply chain, the business services environment and the policy environment. First, we will work to improve the production skills and business orientation of small-scale farmers who produce roots, tubers, fruit and vegetables. This will allow them to sell their goods for a profit. To do this, they will need to raise their productivity and improve what they grow to match market demand and standards.
Then, these farmers will need access to finance, inputs, technology and market intelligence to develop their businesses. To help give them this access, we will work with farmers and their service organisations, such as farmers’ cooperatives and small and medium-sized enterprises, to develop their organisational and business skills. We will train small-scale producers to access financial services and business development information. Finally, we will work to increase stakeholders’ understanding of the financial, policy and business environments and how to engage with them.
- Enhancing capabilities of farmers for production, post-harvest handling and storage, and trading of local crops.
- Increasing access of small-scale producers to financial and business development services.
- Increasing engagement of farmers with policy and business stakeholders.
- Improving the production skills and business orientation of small-scale producers and regional producers’ organisations.
- Boosting key stakeholders’ understanding, knowledge and abilities of the policy and business environment.