CTA, IICA agree to create concrete agriculture linkages

Last Updated on Wednesday, 4 November 2015, 20:57 by GxMedia

Second from left: IICA’s Director General, Victor M. Villalobos and the Director of CTA, Michael Hailu shake hands after signing their agreement. Looking on is CARDI’s Executive Director, Barton Clarke (extreme left).

Work on providing Caribbean peoples and businesses more nutritious foods and linking agriculture with tourism was Friday taken a step further with the inking of an agreement between the Technical Centre for Agricultural Cooperation and Rural Development (CTA) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA).

Signed by IICA Director General, Dr. Victor Villalobos and CTA Director, Michael Hailu on the margins of the Caribbean-Pacific Agri-Food Forum being held in Barbados, the agreement provides for, among other areas of cooperation,  the promotion of agribusiness and agri-tourism, promotion of climate-smart agriculture and nutrition sensitive food system and the promotion of sustainable agricultural value chains and market linkages.

“We hope we can focus on these areas and really bring about some concrete results and, of course, in partnership with institutions in the region so I hope we can build on this and mobilize additional resources and really deepen our partnerships and so we can achieve good results for the region,” he said at the signing ceremony at IICA’s Barbados office.

The CTA has been established by the European Union and the 77-nation African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group, and IICA is an hemispheric body associated with the Organisation of American States (OAS).

The IICA Director General hailed the accord that was signed at the Barbados office of the hemispheric agriculture organisation. “

Signing of the accord comes at a time when the region is battling a constant rise in non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and heart ailments due partly to imported foods that worth about US$5 billion annually.

Chefs from the Pacific have travelled to Barbados to team up with their colleagues in the Caribbean to showcase and exchange their culinary delights that could be of tremendous benefit to the tourism industries of both regions and the health and well-being of their populations.

CTA and IICA have also agreed to  support advisory services, technology transfer and innovation, develop learning resources, training and capacity development,   and develop and implement of strategies, good practices and tools in the area of data, information, communication and knowledge management.

The two organisations  will also support to agricultural policy research and development, including differentiated public policies, promote youth engagement in agriculture and economic empowerment of women, and institutionally  strengthen recognized farmer and agro-processor groups which represent the needs of stakeholders.

There will also be facilitation of access by Caribbean agricultural stakeholders  to information, knowledge and experiences within the Caribbean as well as from  Latin America (covered by IICA), Africa and Pacific (covered by CTA) and global sources, development of multipartite  collaboration arrangements with third party organizations within and outside the Caribbean, mobilization of complementary scientific, technical and financial resources to implement joint activities in the Caribbean, and the promotion of sound project cycle management practices and joint organisational learning initiatives, including monitoring and evaluation of best practices to systematically measure or demonstrate impact on direct and indirect beneficiaries.