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USE ICTS TO PUSH AGRICULTURE – CARICOM SECRETARY-GENERAL

(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is encouraging stakeholders in the agriculture to make full use of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) to promote and drive competitiveness and interest in the sector.

Throwing out a challenge for those involved in the sector to come up with a measurable plan of action aimed at building up ICT capacity among agricultural organizations and producers, the Secretary-General pointed to the advantage of those businesses that have taken advantage of ICTs.

The Secretary-General threw out the challenges on Wednesday evening at the opening of the Eleventh Caribbean Week of Agriculture (CWA) in Antigua and Barbuda.

“…without a doubt we live in an information age, and experience over the last twenty years or so has demonstrated that small enterprises which take advantage of Information and Communications Technologies can punch way above their weight in the global economy. This makes it all the more important that all agriculture stakeholders in the value chain make greater use of ICT to enhance our competitiveness and efficiency,” he said.

During the Caribbean Week of Agriculture which concludes on Friday, a heavy focus was placed on the use of ICT in agriculture, in particular during the workshops on Media, and Youth. A consultation was also held on `Caribbean agricultural value chain environmental ICT scan’.

Secretary-General LaRocque also urged on stakeholders to utilize ICTs to publicise the achievements in agriculture.

“All too often, we spend much of our time lamenting our deficiencies and our failures and not enough time on assessing our successes and charting the way forward. Where there are examples of achievement, we should publicise them and hold them up as examples to the rest of the agricultural community, indeed, to our societies as a whole.

“I therefore want to encourage all our institutions to publicise on their websites and by any other means, at least once every quarter, an example of a successful agricultural endeavour within the Region and to make this a practice for the foreseeable future. Nothing breeds success like success,” he said.

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