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Dominica wants evaluation of Caribbean Agriculture Week; CTA says that’s planned

CTA Executive Director Michael Hailu

The Netherlands –based Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) on Wednesday signaled its willingness to review the success of the annual Caribbean Week of Agriculture (CWA).

Executive Director of the CTA, Michael Hailu said his organization would possibly conduct the CWA assessment, following concerns by Dominica’s Minister of Agriculture Matthew Walter at a meeting of the Agriculture Alliance held in Paramaribo, Suriname as part of CWA 2014.

Walter urged that a report containing the recommendations be formulated at the end of every CWA.  He expressed serious concern that Caribbean countries have not been implementing those recommendations that have been pulled from the various presentations.  “At those meetings of CWA we have not been hearing, hearing or evaluating the implementation of those recommendations and I do not think we are doing justice with respect to the implementation of the recommendations of the CWAs,” he said.

None of the top officials of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) Secretariat, who were seated at the head-table, could tell Walter when there would be an evaluation of the CWA meeting that was held in Guyana last October.

The Dominican Minister feared that the work that has been put into CWA would be relegated to an “exercise in futility.”

The CTA’s Director later told reporters that he believed that CWAs have been making progress but agreed that there was need for a systematic review of the implementation of recommendations emerging from talks on issues of climate change, youth and women in agriculture, pest control, organic production, marketing and plant and animal health. “That’s important to do and we have discussed it in the steering committee that it’s important to evaluate what has happened in the past and then you should build on that lesson,” said Hailu.

Asked why such a review has not been done before, the CTA Executive Director supposed that participants have been very busy but now there was need for follow-up work. “We are in favour of it fro our perspective and I’m sure the other partners are interested on that as well,” he said.

 The CTA is a joint international institution of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union (EU). Its mission is to advance food and nutritional security, increase prosperity and encourage sound natural resource management in ACP countries.