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Caribbean Week of Agriculture 2016 in Cayman Islands


Posted in: Press Releases | 10 October 2016 | 892

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    Organisers are putting the final touches on preparations for the Caribbean Week of Agriculture (CWA) to be held in the Cayman Islands later this month.

    The CWA, the Region’s premier agriculture event, will be held in Grand Cayman, 24-28 October, 2016, under the theme ‘Investing in food and agriculture’. This is the first time that an Associate Member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) will hold the CWA.

    An investment forum to explore the needs and strategies for agriculture and agri-business is billed as one of the hallmark events of the week of activities and is being convened under the aegis of the Alliance for Sustainable Development of Agriculture and the Rural Milieu (‘The Alliance’). The forum will open with addresses by the Hon. Saboto Caesar, Minister of Agriculture Rural Transformation, Forestry Fisheries and Industry, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and the Hon. D. Kurt Tibbetts, Minister of Planning, Lands, Agriculture, Housing and Infrastructure (PLAHI), Cayman Islands.

     Speakers will include Ms. Suzette Hudson, Senior Investment Promotion Advisor, Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), Mr. McHale Andrew, President, Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA), Mr. Komal Samaroo, Chairman, Demerara Distillers Limited, Mr. Desmond Sheehy, Co-founder and Managing Director of Duxton Asset Management (Duxton), Mr. Oscar Spencer, Institute of Caribbean Studies, and Mr. Percival La Touche, President, Association for the Resettlement of Returning Residents (Jamaica).

    Case studies of the cassava, small ruminants, and herbs and spices sub-sectors and their investment needs will also be discussed during the forum.  Other activities include a Trade Show and Exhibition which will open on Wednesday, 26 October and continue the next day.  It will serve as a the CWA MarketPlace and is intended to create an event that would give producers the opportunity to showcase their products to both the Region and the Cayman Islands' ‘high value’ tourism and retail markets. This year’s CWA2016 MarketPlace will provide more than 40 regional agriculture, food and beverage producers the opportunity to showcase their goods and services and meet and network with potential customers, prospects and partners. As is customary, the Special Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) - Agriculture will be convened on Friday, 28 October, preceded by the meeting of Officials on Tuesday, 25 October. The COTED will be examining and deciding on several issues on agriculture, including matters related to increasing production and trade in agricultural products, and policy recommendations based on a series of studies undertaken under the Agricultural Policy Programme, under the 10th EDF. During the five-day event, seminars will be convened to focus on the Region's coconut industry; linkages between trade and transport; climate resilience; sustainable and profitable value chains in the Caribbean; agri-business development; and governance and public policy for food and nutrition security.

    The preparations for the CWA are being led by a broad-based steering committee that comprises representatives from the Government of the Cayman Islands, the CARICOM Secretariat, the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), the IICA, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA).

    "As the host of this prestigious conference and the leading Specialised International Financial Centre in the region, the Cayman Islands wholeheartedly supports the theme for this year’s event, which aptly focuses on the importance of investment, for both primary agriculture and the Region’s developing food industry," Mr. Kurt Tibbetts, Minister of Planning, Lands, Agriculture, Housing and Infrastructure of the Cayman Island, said.

    In a message on the occasion of the 14th edition of the CWA, CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque pointed out that the Strategic Plan for the Caribbean Community (2015-2019) emphasised, the importance of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) as a platform for expanded investment opportunities; the importance of attracting foreign direct investment through the promotion of joint ventures and public private partnerships; and promoting an enabling environment in Member States for attracting investment in small and large scale agri-food initiatives, while encouraging entrepreneurship among youth, women and small farmers.

    See more information at www.cayman2016.com

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