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CARICOM, CAC sign Cooperation Agreement to Strengthen Agriculture, Regional Trade

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Central American Agricultural Council (CAC) have signed a cooperation agreement to improve agricultural development and strengthening agriculture trade ties between CARICOM and the Central American Integration System (SICA).

Dr. Carla Barnett, CARICOM Secretary-General, and Lucrecia Rodríguez Peñalba, Executive Secretary of CAC , SICA’s agricultural body, signed the agreement on 19 March 2024 at the CARICOM Secretariat, Georgetown, Guyana. The accord, which entered into force immediately, stemmed from the CARICOM-SICA Plan of Action which Foreign Ministers of the two regions signed in Belize on 2 March 2022.

It marks a milestone in the relationship between CARICOM and the CAC and focuses on promoting programmes, projects, and mechanisms that drive agricultural and rural development in SICA and CARICOM.

The agreement covers key areas such as climate-adapted sustainable agriculture, food security, agricultural productivity, digitalization in agriculture, and regional agricultural trade. The agreement will also promote the reduction of tariffs, improve infrastructure and logistical capacities, foster public-private partnerships, strengthen sub-regional value chains, and enhance food security in both regions.

In her remarks, Dr. Carla Barnett highlighted the potential of this partnership: “The signing of this agreement demonstrates our shared commitment to working together to address the common challenges we face in the agricultural and trade sectors.”

Lucrecia Rodríguez Peñalba emphasised the importance of the collaboration, noting, “This agreement represents a significant step towards improving our food systems, adapting to climate change, and strengthening family farming in our regions.”

The Cooperation Agreement between the CAC and CARICOM reflects the commitment of both organisations to work together to achieve sustainable agricultural and rural development in Central America and the Caribbean.

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