Agriculture Policy Programme (APP) launched: Euro 8.6 million for Regional agriculture

The Agriculture Policy Programme, touted as ‘More than a Project, but more of an Opportunity to build partnerships for development of agriculture in CARIFORUM‘ was officially launched in Trinidad and Tobago on Monday 19th May, 2014. This followed the hosting of the first formal meeting of the members of the Project Steering Committee (PSC) and Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).

This “Caribbean Action under the Programme entitled Agriculture Policy Programme (APP) with focus on the Caribbean and Pacific” is an EU €8.6 million funded Project under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF), to be executed over four years. It comprises three inter-related components designed to enhance the capabilities of agriculture to eradicate poverty, namely:

  • Action 1: Regional Policy and Strategy – “Strengthen implementation of regional agricultural development policy and strategy
  • Action 2: Technology, Transfer and Adoption – “Improve the transfer and adoption of applied agricultural production and processing research results and technologies and where appropriate, generate new technologies for target commodities
  • Action 3: Linking Markets to Enterprises – “Improve market linkages to contribute to agricultural enterprise development
The Launch included a Round-table Conversation among key partners, including Ms. Kathrin Renner, Representative of the Charge d'Affairs, Delegation of the European Union to Trinidad and Tobago; Dr. Arlington Chesney, Executive Director, Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI); Ms. Desire Field-Ridley, Officer in Charge, Trade and Economic Integration, Caribbean Community Secretariat; Mr. Gregg Rawlins, Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture Representative in Trinidad and Tobago and Coordinator Regional Integration, Caribbean Region; and Ms. Kimberley Gay, Coordinating Assistant, Agriculture Professional Development Programme, Agriculture Now Training Unit, Ministry of Food Production.

The Launch included a Round-table Conversation among key partners, including Ms. Kathrin Renner, Representative of the Charge d’Affairs, Delegation of the European Union to Trinidad and Tobago; Dr. Arlington Chesney, Executive Director, Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI); Ms. Desire Field-Ridley, Officer in Charge, Trade and Economic Integration, Caribbean Community Secretariat; Mr. Gregg Rawlins, Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture Representative in Trinidad and Tobago and Coordinator Regional Integration, Caribbean Region; and Ms. Kimberley Gay, Coordinating Assistant, Agriculture Professional Development Programme, Agriculture Now Training Unit, Ministry of Food Production.

A Conversation which provided a comprehensive big picture perspective of the APP, inclusive of the key beneficiary stakeholder groups of women and youth; highlighted the potential of a stronger regional cooperation with the Dominican Republic who has much to offer in agricultural innovation; outlined goals to nurture and grow a new generation of agriculturalists and agri-preneurs, coupled with emerging skills and careers built in and around agriculture; and a call for climate smart farming initiatives.

The overall objective of the APP Action is to contribute to enhance the regional and interregional capabilities of the agricultural sectors in improving food and nutrition security and eradicating poverty. The APP is ultimately aimed at ensuring that small producers/entrepreneurs in CARIFORUM countries, including women and youth, are more effectively integrated into national, regional and international markets.

Its implementation is built on partnerships through a Contribution Agreement signed between the European Commission (EC) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), which subsequently includes the engagement of implementing partners Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development Institute (CARDI) and the CARICOM Secretariat (CCS).

Guests at the Launch left with the clear picture that the APP is a very focused initiative, grounded in country priorities whilst building on existing programmes, collaborating with complementary development partners, and involving the targeted beneficiaries: small farmers groups, women and youth.

The Launch also saw the Formal Signing of the “Partnership Agreements” between IICA and the implementing partners and the signing of a commitment between a wider group of development partners for “The Commencement of Technical Activities of the APP.”

Benefitting countries include Antigua and Barbuda; the Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Dominica; Dominican Republic; Grenada; Guyana; Haiti; Jamaica; St. Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; St. Vincent and the Grenadines; Suriname; and Trinidad and Tobago.

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