Montserrat to Chair Regional Agri Board of Governors

Montserrat’s Minister of Agriculture Claude Hogan has been elected to Chair the Board of Governor’s of the Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development Institute (CARDI) for the period 2016 to 2019.

The election took place in the Cayman Islands this week as part of Caribbean Agricultural Week.

Above Minister Hogan is congratulated by the Executive Director of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) Mr Milton Haughton. (CHogan Phto)

Above Minister Hogan is congratulated by the Executive Director of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) Mr Milton Haughton. (CHogan Phto)

Hogan is attending the conference along with Agricultural technical officer Claude Browne. The week, which brings together both practitioners and officials from across the region also included meetings of the Board of Governor’s of CARDI, CARICOM COTED-Agriculture, OECS Agriculture Ministers, CABI, and a Ministerial Caucus on Agriculture.

“The whole world is represented here including folks from the Pacific,” said Minister Hogan. “It’s like the United Nations and who’s who in agriculture.

Trinidad and Tobago, Belize, Cayman Islands, Guyana, and Montserrat were the countries in good standing and eligible for the Board of Governor’s Chairmanship partially based on whether they had a minister with security of tenure for the period of Chairmanship.

The agricultural minister has been attending the expo which is featuring ten entrepreneurs from around the Caribbean, along with companies offering new developments in the sector.

“There’s an impressive array of value added products from cassava and sweet potatoes. There’s lots of investment in coconuts because of a strong growth in demand across the region. The approach now is supported by science to improve the coconuts gene pool. There’s a heavy promotion of fish and fish products all at value added level with emphasis on linkages to the tourism industry etc.

“A strategic outcome from the meeting is emerging as incentives and facilitation of our private sectors to invest with farmers. Jamaica has an impressive programme of access to land for distribution companies that provide capital directly to farmers and avoid the banks, which farmers cannot easily access.
The UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) has pledged to finance institutional arrangements including support for transportation to enhance inter-regional trade in agriculture. “There’s a US$5 billion dollar trade in agricultural products in the region and only 15% of that is from our Region,” Hogan said. “We have production but no coordinated logistics for transportation and distribution.”
Caribbean Agriculture Week ends today October 28, 2016. More information on the event is available here…http://www.cwa2016cayman.com/

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