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Greater Focus On Regional Agriculture

(Barbados Today) The CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), signed a General Agreement for Technical Cooperation, which will establish a broad framework for collaboration on initiatives geared towards the advancement of agriculture development in the Caribbean region.

While the vital importance of the agricultural sector as a pillar of growth and stability for Caribbean economies has been emphasised by the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on food and nutrition security, most countries in the Caribbean face several systemic constraints on their capacity for sustainable food production.

Many farmers, agro-processors, and other small and medium-sized enterprises in the sector continue to be confronted with challenges to their attempts to scale up production including access to financing, vulnerability to the effects of natural hazards and climate change, limited land space, the satisfaction of international market standards, competition from imports and limited capacity to innovate and adopt best practices.

In addition, the region’s high food import bill puts additional strain on foreign exchange reserves.

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