Speeches (7)

Distinguished guests,
On behalf of the President, Government and People of the Republic of Suriname, I hereby extend a warm welcome to all delegates and participants of this year’s Caribbean Week of Agriculture (CWA) with the theme “Transforming Caribbean Agriculture through Family Farming”.
The Republic of Suriname is honored to host this important event, considering the fundamental role of agriculture in accelerating sustainable development, especially for countries in this region. Therefore, the emphasis is on discussing the strategic issues regarding the future of our agriculture, not only for international food security strategies but more so for developing and enhancing our national strategies.

Mr Chairman, Djoemadi Kasanmoesdiran
Your Excellency,  Desiree Delano Bouterse, President of Suriname
Your Excellency,     Hon. Soeresh Algoe, Minister of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, Suriname
Her Excellency Manorma Soeknandan, Deputy Secretary General, CARICOM Secretariat
Mr Michael Hailu, Director, CTA
Dr Deep Ford, Sub Regional Representative, FAO
Dr Victor Villalobos, Director General, IICA
Hon. Ministers responsible for Agriculture in the Caribbean
Representatives of Constituent Members, CAFY, CANROP, CABA and Regional Farmers as represented by CAFAN
Participants of the Many Workshops and Seminars, especially those youths in the: -    Caribbean Science and Agriculture Videos and Film Competition
-    Agri Hack Competition
Distinguised Ladies and Gentlemen
Members of the Media
That was a long and exhaustive salutation.  Almost took up all of my speaking time.  However, I deliberately wanted to do this so as to exemplify the diversity of the actors within the agricultural and rural community and also to highlight that the business of modernisation of the agriculture sector is a national or cabinet responsibility and not only that of the Ministers of Agriculture and those in the sector.
Mr Chairman, it will be remiss of me if I do not say a word of thanks for the late Hon. Roger Clarke, former Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries of Jamaica.  Minister Clarke was a founding Member of the Alliance.  Except for a short period, when his party was not in power, he participated in all Alliance meetings and CWA events.  Once available, he was elected by his Ministerial Colleagues to be Chairman of the Alliance for an unbroken period, a feat that was only surpassed by his record as an elected Member of Parliament for his Constituencies.  In my estimation, he was the major political driving force responsible for the success of the Alliance and the CWA as we experience it today.  We owe him a deep sense of gratitude especially as we heard Hon. Minister David Tosul Butulso, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Biosecurity, Vanuatu, stating that CWA will be used as an example for the Pacific Week of Agriculture.

Thursday, 09 October 2014 18:55

Dr Deep Ford speech for opening ceremony of CWA 2014

Written by

On behalf of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, I bring greetings from our Director General, Dr. Jose Graziano Da Silva and our Regional Representative, Mr. Raul Benitez.   
It is a distinct pleasure to be here at the Opening of the 13 th  Caribbean Week of Agriculture. This year’s theme - “Transforming Caribbean Agriculture through Family Farming” - is in keeping with the United Nations declaration of 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF). It recognizes the important role that family farmers play in eradicating hunger and conserving natural resources, which are central elements of the sustainable future we want.

The time has come again when the Region’s agricultural sector holds its premier annual event. This is the thirteenth Caribbean Week of Agriculture to have been held since it commenced in 1999 and every year the event has brought together participants in the agricultural sector in a number of fields ranging from producers themselves to scientific personnel to those with political responsibility.

Please allow me to thank you, Mr. President for inviting us to attend the 13th Caribbean Week of Agriculture in your beautiful country, Suriname. I am grateful for the warm welcome and generous hospitality extended to us since our arrival in Paramaribo.

2014 is a very special year for us in many different ways. It is an important year for smallholder farmers across the world as it is the International Year of Family Farming, which is also the main theme of the 13th Caribbean Week of Agriculture. It is a special year for island countries as it is the United Nations Year of Small Island Developing States that culminated in a very successful conference in Samoa last month. For CTA 2014 marks our 30th Anniversary, and we are using the occasion to take stock of our past achievements with our partners and to re-dedicate our efforts to serving smallholder farmers across Africa, Caribbean and the Pacific.


I wish first of all, to congratulate and thank the Government of Suriname for being such excellent hosts and for the hard work and commitment which have gone into the planning and preparation for this event.  

This year, we focus on the theme of Family Agriculture for CWA 2014 - a theme that is timely and highly relevant to the development of agriculture here in the Caribbean Region.

One may well ask “What is it about agriculture that lends itself to family- managed production?”

IICA is very pleased and honoured to be here once more at the Caribbean Week of Agriculture and to be a part of this very unique Regional event at which the development partners and key stakeholders in agriculture and rural development, can meet and dialogue and as a Region, work to advance the development agenda for the sector.  

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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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