B’dos to benefit from food projects

Barbados is getting outside assistance in boosting provisions within its draft Food and Nutrition Security Action Plan.

The plan, which was presented at the opening of a National Seminar on Food and Nutrition Security in Barbados at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill campus this afternoon, will receive support from the Inter-American Institution for Cooperation on Agriculture.

IICA’s Representative for Trinidad and Tobago and Caribbean Coordinator, Gregg Rawlins, informed the seminar that his agency was about to “lead the execution of two EU-funded programmes” which would compliment actions included in the plan.

Rawlins explained to Barbados TODAY afterward, that the programmes, which would span four years, were worth about $52 million and this country stood to benefit from proposing initiatives for funding.

“The Agriculture Policies Programme for the Caribbean would address issues of policy and strategy, technology transfer and agri-business and marketing with a focus on selected commodities in each CARIFORUM country,” he added.

“We expect very shortly to engage national authorities in Barbados in articulating a clear plan of action for Barbados, under this programme which would ensure that this regional project is grounded at the level of all CARIFORUM member-states.”

Rawlins disclosed that the second project related to the sanitary and phytosanitary measures component of the Economic Partnership Agreement capacity building programme, funded under the European Development Fund scheme.

He noted that the EDF programme would address issues of updated animal health, plant health, food safety legislation and regulations, enhanced coordination among agencies involved in sanitary and phytosanitary matters at the national and regional levels and capacity-building, targeted at both the private sector and regulatory personnel.

“It is envisaged that this programme would enhance the capacity of CARIFORUM countries to participate in global trade, by building capacity along the entire value chain to meet international market access standards,” stated the IICA administrator.

Rawlins said this venture would also seek to harmonise protocols and procedures at the regional level with a view to facilitating greater Caribbean trade in agriculture between CARIFORUM states. (EJ)

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