CARICOM coun­cil agrees on mech­a­nism to re­store agri in dis­as­ter-hit coun­tries

Stabroek News - - REGIONAL NEWS -

The CARICOM Coun­cil for Trade and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment (COTED) has ap­proved a mech­a­nism to help re­store the agri­cul­ture of coun­tries hard-hit by nat­u­ral dis­as­ters.

It fol­lows the dev­as­ta­tion caused last month by hur­ri­canes Irma and Maria in Bar­buda, the Bri­tish Virgin Islands and Do­minica and other Caribbean islands.

A re­lease from the CARICOM Sec­re­tar­iat yes­ter­day said that the Re­gional Agri­cul­ture Emer­gency Re­sponse Sub-Com­mit­tee will pro­vide prompt ac­tion to help the agri­cul­ture sec­tor in Mem­ber States to re­bound af­ter nat­u­ral dis­as­ters.

Ap­proval of the mech­a­nism came at the 71st Spe­cial Meet­ing of the COTED on Agri­cul­ture held at the CARICOM Sec­re­tar­iat Oc­to­ber 6th, 2017.

The Sub-Com­mit­tee will in­clude rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Food and Agri­cul­ture Or­gan­i­sa­tion (FAO) the Caribbean Agri­cul­tural Re­search and De­vel­op­ment In­sti­tute (CARDI), the In­ter-Amer­i­can In­sti­tute for Co­op­er­a­tion on Agri­cul­ture (IICA), the Caribbean Dis­as­ter Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency (CDEMA), the Caribbean In­sti­tute for Me­te­o­rol­ogy and Hy­drol­ogy (CIMH), the Caribbean Plant Health Di­rec­tors (CPHD), the Caribbean An­i­mal Health Net­work (CaribVET), the CARICOM Sec­re­tar­iat, the Caribbean De­vel­op­ment Bank (CDB) and the Caribbean Com­mu­nity Cli­mate Change Cen­tre (CCCCC). Belize and An­tigua and Bar­buda will also be rep­re­sented on the body.

Among the mat­ters for which the sub­com­mit­tee will have re­spon­si­bil­ity are de­vis­ing pro­to­cols to safe­guard hu­man and live­stock health and co­or­di­nat­ing tech­ni­cal sup­port for the re­cov­ery of sec­tors. The Com­mit­tee will also work closely with CDEMA in mo­bil­is­ing re­sources with In­ter­na­tional and Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Part­ners to ac­quire plant­ing and other ma­te­ri­als for quick start-up of short-term food crops and live­stock pro­duc­tion.

The re­lease said it is more ap­par­ent that the Com­mu­nity’s re­sponse to nat­u­ral dis­as­ters must “em­brace wider adop­tion of in­no­va­tions on Cli­mate Smart Agri­cul­ture”. Min­is­ters en­dorsed the de­vel­op­ment of a cli­mate smart agri­cul­ture re­gional train­ing pro­gramme to re­ori­ent ex­ten­sion of­fi­cers and mem­bers of farm­ers’ groups. The pro­gramme is to be de­vel­oped by the Univer­sity of the West Indies, the Univer­sity of Guyana and CARDI, the re­lease said.

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