The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

On Wed­nes­day, Fe­bru­ary 4 2015, Saint Lu­cia Trade Ex­port Pro­mo­tion Agency (TEPA) op­er­at­ing un­der the Min­istry for Com­merce, Busi­ness Devel­op­ment and Con­sumer Af­fairs in as­so­ci­a­tion with the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture, Food Pro­duc­tion, Fish­eries, Co­op­er­a­tives and Ru­ral Devel­op­ment will host an “Agri­cul­ture Value Chain Sym­po­sium” at the Golden Palm Event Cen­tre in Rod­ney Bay, Gros Islet, un­der the theme “De­vel­op­ing a shared vi­sion to­wards in­creas­ing Agri­cul­tural Ex­ports”. The ex­er­cise is geared to­wards es­tab­lish­ing a shared vi­sion for the sus­tained ex­port of Saint Lu­cian Agri­cul­tural Com­modi­ties in iden­ti­fied pri­or­ity mar­kets. Since its estab­lish­ment in 2011, TEPA has con­ducted mar­ket re­search, pro­mo­tional cam­paigns and re­con­nais­sance mis­sions in iden­ti­fied pri­or­ity mar­kets namely; Europe, United States of Amer­ica, Canada and the North­ern Caribbean. The find­ings of th­ese ini­tia­tives re­veal sig­nif­i­cant in­ter­est and de­mand for both tra­di­tional and emerg­ing agri­cul­tural com­modi­ties.

To re­spond to the op­por­tu­ni­ties aris­ing from th­ese mis­sions, the agri­cul­tural sec­tor must em­ploy Good Agri­cul­tural Prac­tices (GAPS), ad­here to strin­gent mar­ket re­quire­ments, com­pete with stiff re­gional and in­ter­na­tional coun­ter­parts and es­tab­lish reg­i­ments that will en­sure ad­e­quate sup­ply lev­els. To­wards this end, TEPA will host this sym­po­sium which will seek to re­view, as­sess and es­tab­lish a sus­tained strate­gic ap­proach to in­creas­ing the ag­gre­gate ex­ports of Saint Lu­cian agri­cul­tural com­modi­ties.

This event, to be cochaired by Mrs. Jacqueline Em­manuel-Flood, TEPA CEO and Dr Dar­ius Gabriel, Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary in the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture, will bring to­gether tech­nocrats from Min­istries of Com­merce and Agri­cul­ture, farmer co-op­er­a­tives, mer­chan­dis­ers, SLASPA, HACS and other key en­ti­ties along the agri­cul­ture value chain.

TEPA CEO, Mrs. Jacqueline Em­manuelFlood for Sym­po­sium.

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