||Last Updated: Nov 9, 2013 - 1:52:40 AM
Other regions could duplicate CWA format – CTA Director
Due to its success formula, other regions in the developing world - especially the Pacific region - could duplicate the format of the Caribbean Week of Agriculture (CWA), which brings key stakeholders in the agricultural sector and policy makers together to discuss problems and find solutions.
Michael Hailu, Director of the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation said, “I think this is the only region where there is a specific week every year dealing with agriculture. So we want to encourage other regions to do the same.” He further added that two Ministers of Agriculture from the Pacific islands (Samoa and Tonga) participated in this year’s CWA activities, “We wanted them to come here and see what is happening so that they can probably do the same back in their region, in the Pacific”, said Hailu.
Samoa Associate Minister of Agriculture, the honourable Lautafi Fio Selafi Purcell has praised the organisers of the CWA calling the event, “a great opportunity for everyone to come together to discuss regional policy in the interest of the people in the Caribbean.” Tonga Minister of Agriculture, The Honourable Sione Sangster Saulala said he intends on collaborating with Samoa and Fiji and other islands in the Pacific to have an event as the CWA and will call on CTA to assist with process.
In previous CWAs, the CTA has supported the participation of agricultural technocrats and farmers from Africa to be part of the event.
Mr Hailu said that over the years, the event gives stakeholders the opportunity to have dialogue on the challenges affecting the agricultural sector, thus enabling it to become more relevant and competitive. CWA has been recognised as a facility to place agriculture and rural life in a prominent position, so key public and private sector decision makers can better acknowledge the strategic importance of the sector to economic, social and environmental stability.
Activities generally include policy development meetings, workshops, trade expo, media activities, farmers’ meeting, and a host of other agricultural discussions which fosters collaboration among the stakeholders.
CWA has contributed positively to the advancement of the agricultural sector in the Caribbean and CTA remains committed to support this event. The CTA has supported various activities including workshops on key issues for the Caribbean: food and nutrition security, fisheries governance, climate change and plant protection, coconut industry, ICTs in value chains, youth in value chains, women in business, and media and agriculture.
The dialogues during CWA present stakeholders with an opportunity to develop policy recommendations and report to the Alliance for Sustainable Development of Agriculture and the Rural Milieu (The Alliance) and the Ministers for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) on Agriculture for the design and implementation of policies, strategies and plans that will advance food and nutritional security and sustainable agriculture development in the Caribbean.
CWA is held every year under the auspices of the Alliance, with the major collaborators being the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), the CARICOM Secretariat, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA).
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