Guyana will be hosting, for the second time, the 12th Caribbean Week of Agriculture from October 4th -12th, 2013; Guyana hosted its first CWA in 2003. The week-long activities tie in with that of Agriculture Month 2013 and CWA is the main attraction.


Theme for CWA is “Linking the Caribbean for Regional Food and Nutrition Security and Rural Development.” Meanwhile, the theme for Guyana’s Agriculture Month is “Proud to host Caribbean Week of Agriculture: Linking the Caribbean for Regional Food and Nutrition Security and Rural Development.”

While announcing the activities that will be held, Agriculture Minister, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy emphasized that the theme for CWA gives an idea of the anticipated gains. “Agriculture is always the number one pillar on which rural development is built and even as the economy of the Caribbean, particularly countries like Guyana, Suriname, Belize, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Haiti, particularly as these countries further diversify their economy, rural economy will still largely depend on agriculture development,” he said.

Further, this is one the features the Ministry wants to highlight and CWA is taking a step forward. “This Caribbean Week of Agriculture is saying to our people in Guyana and the Caribbean that we want to use agriculture as enterprise development and to generate wealth… we are not using this CWA to do the old message which was agriculture for subsistence livelihood…In fact we are using this CWA to propel us forward and reject the notion that agriculture is just for subsistence livelihood,” he stressed.

He further illustrated that the development of Santa Fe in Region 9 is an example of what agriculture can do and how the Regional entrepreneurs can be marshalled in developing individual ventures.

Additionally, the products from Santa Fe will not contribute to food and nutrition security in Guyana since the country has already achieved that outside of Santa Fe; however, it demonstrates how Guyana can contribute to food and nutrition security in the Caribbean.

The Minister noted that the Caribbean grows enough corn for human consumption/table top usage. However, the region imports a lot of corn for the stockfeed industry.

“What we want to highlight at Caribbean Week of Agriculture is that we can produce all the corn that we require for the stockfeed industry and how that helps in food security is that in the poultry industry we could lower the cost of production…it is no secret that the Caribbean is self-sufficient or has the capacity to be self-sufficient in the production of poultry, and in countries like Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago, among others, we are already meeting our poultry demands  but we do it at a cost that is high,” he said. The high cost has an impact on the quality of meat that is imported.

The Ministry also announced some of the activities that will be held during the nine days of activities. Some of the events include the official opening on October 2, 2013, forty-three workshops, much of which are science and research related, that will target technical persons in the agriculture field and farmers. Minister Ramsammy emphasized that special provisions are being made for farmers to participate in the various workshops.

The intention of the workshops is to improve the agriculture industry and trade in the Region. The topics that will be covered include sanitary and phytosanitary standards, the coconut industry, pest control in a climate changing environment and projects that are supported by Canada’s Ministry of Agriculture.

Some of the other events include a COTED Ministerial Meeting for Ministers of Agriculture, the Ministerial Caucus of Ministers of Agriculture for the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), a meeting of the CRFM, field trips to Santa Fe in Region 9 and the Hope Canal, and open days at the Guyana School of Agriculture and the Mahaica/Mahaicony/Abary drainage scheme.

The workshops will be held at the Guyana International Conference Centre (GICC) while the Ministerial meetings will be held at the Caricom Secretariat.

Importantly, on Wednesday the three-day agriculture exhibition will commence where 40 groups are expected to participate; some of which are from the wider Caribbean and others from Canada and the Pacific.

Minister Ramsammy noted that some of the dignitaries expected, apart from the Ministers of Agriculture, are the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Regional Director, Director General and senior officials of Inter-American Institute for Co-operation on Agriculture (IICA) and Caricom representatives.

“We are also hoping to sign a number of agreements and MOUs during Caribbean Week of Agriculture including an agreement with IICA and the European Union…IICA has received a grant of $11M EURO to implement a capacity strengthening programme in the Caribbean region relating to sanitary and phytosanitary standards Guyana is one of the countries in which the IICA/EU project is being implemented,” he stated.

The Minister recalled that earlier this year IICA signed an agreement with the EU to implement an $8M EURO project in the Caribbean that consists of three components, the first will be co-ordinated by IICA, another by Caricom and the final one by CARI. These initiatives will also be highlighted through a seminar during CWA.

Source: GINA

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Participating Countries

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Bahamas
  • Dominica
  • Guyana
  • Grenada
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Haiti
  • Jamaica
  • Montserrat
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • Suriname
  • Saint Lucia
  • Trinidad and Tobago

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