Technical officials in the agriculture sector on Tuesday morning began preparatory discussions ahead of the Special Ministerial Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) in the Cayman Islands on Friday.
The Ministerial Meeting is one of the key events of the Caribbean Week of Agriculture (CWA) now underway in Grand Cayman under the theme ‘Investing in Food and Agriculture’.
In keeping with the theme, the COTED will hold discussions on main agenda item: increasing agricultural investment, production and exports. The discourse will zero in on what is preventing agricultural production and exports. The Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Agency (CARDI) a regional institution, will lead these discussions.
There will also be discussions on progress on roots and tubers with specific reference to cassava, the coconut industry, small ruminant and fish and fish products.
The improvement of intra-regional trade, transportation, and assistance to Haiti following the passage of Hurricane Matthew, are among the other main items on which the COTED will hold discussions. Policy issues in agriculture account for most of the other agenda items.
At a early morning media briefing on Tuesday, Ms. Nisa Surujbally, Programme Manager, Agriculture and Industry, CARICOM Secretariat, provided some insight into the Special COTED Ministerial Meeting.
“It’s a packed, packed agenda: We are sure that most of the actions will be when we start discussing trade … We are, at the COTED level, really making a significant effort to improve intra- regional trade. We see this as a must to promote the agriculture sector development,” Ms. Surujbally said.