Herbs and Spices: CARDI states as a commodity for priority action

The second monthly meeting of the CARICOM Cluster of Agricultural Institutes was held on March 13, 2014 at CARDI’s Head Office in St Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago. The three-hour long meeting concluded with a key decision that herbs and spices will be third for priority action.

The senior agricultural experts agreed that the sector will be developed utilizing a value chain approach.  And that this commodity has been identified, along with cassava and small ruminants, for its export potential, import substitution and food security.  The lead Agency for this commodity is the Caribbean Agri-Business Association (CABA).  While FAO is the lead for cassava; and CARDI is the lead for small ruminants.

The senior agricultural experts agreed that the sector will be developed utilizing a value chain approach. And that this commodity has been identified, along with cassava and small ruminants, for its export potential, import substitution and food security. The lead Agency for this commodity is the Caribbean Agri-Business Association (CABA). While FAO is the lead for cassava; and CARDI is the lead for small ruminants.

As part of a programme - the Activities Integration Matrix – aimed at improving integration and synergies among Regional stakeholder agencies, it was agreed that specific success stories in the sector will be identified. The work of the private sector across the Region will also be included as a component of this programme. This aspect, in particular, will be supported by CABA and CaFAN to facilitate same.

It was announced at this meeting that Suriname has agreed to host the 2014 Caribbean Week of Agriculture (CWA) – the premier agricultural event on the Region’s calendar, bringing together stakeholders for a week of activities to promote agriculture and agri-industry through policy dialoguing, learning sessions, and exhibitions showcasing the successes of the sector.

Attending the Meeting were B. Lauckner, F. Asiedu and A. Glean of CARDI; L. Ramoutar, R. Blair and N. Surujbally of CARICOM Secretariat; D. Ford of FAO; G. Rawlins of IICA; V. Stewart and R. Roop of CABA; G. Gouveia and L. Wickham of UWI. CAFAN, CDB and OECS are also members of the Cluster.

The 2nd Monthly Meeting was chaired by CARDI’s Executive Director, Dr. Arlington Chesney.

This Cluster of Agricultural Institutes was set up to assist CARICOM with agricultural policy and to ensure collaboration and synergy amongst agricultural agencies.

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