Leroy Weekes, Ray Greer and Extension Officer Melvin Lindsey represented the island at the recently concluded 22nd Trade Mission and Congress in Suriname from May 23 to 26, 2016.
Their attendance was made possible through COSME which funds programmes and research for Small and Medium Enterprises in the 12 Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs).
The COSME Team travelled with a total of 34 delegates from the farming sector to Suriname from 11 of the 12 OCTs invited.
During the first two days of the mission, May 23 and 24 study tours/site visits were organized which allowed the participants to gain first hand insight of how farms operate in Suriname as well as to exchange knowledge on the various techniques used in their respective operations.
May 25 and 26 were the days of the Congress but for the COSME delegates it meant two full days of B2B meetings with Surinamese farming businesses. The snapshots reflect the farmers from the various OCTs hard at work.
On the second day of the conference, May 26, the Minister of Trade and Industry of Surinam, Mrs. Sieglien Burleson also addressed the conference participants.
The mission as stated by the participants was productive, informative and very successful. One very specific request for follow-up support from the COSME Programme presented by a young farmer from Sint Maarten and supported by delegates from Aruba, Saba, Turks and Caicos and St Eustatius and some organizations from Suriname was to “Build an independent trading network among the various members of the surrounding islands that attended the conference”.