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Hutchinson leads delegation to CARICOM agriculture meetings

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September 2019

Above Body

 27 Sep 2019    communications   

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries will lead Jamaica's delegation to a series of CARICOM agriculture-related meetings being held in Belize City, Belize, from October 2 to 4, 2019.
The scheduled meetings are:
l. 81st Special Meeting of the CARICOM Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) – Agriculture
II. Ninth Special Meeting of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) Ministerial Council
III. Second Joint High level Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) & Central American Economic Integration System (SICA)/Organization for Fisheries and Aquaculture of the Central American Isthmus Ministerial Meeting (OSPECSCA).
IV. Thirty-Fourth Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI)
V. Twelfth Meeting of the Board of Directors of the Caribbean Agricultural Health and Food Safety Agency (CAHFSA)
VI. Meeting of CARICOM Stakeholders on Sugar and
VII. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)/ICCA Ministerial Caucus.

Among the issues of significant importance to Jamaica to be addressed during the meetings are:
• The development of greater partnerships between the private and public sector stakeholders who are the main drivers of the regional agricultural sector
• Achievements in agricultural research in climate smart agriculture in 2019 and avenues for new areas of research in 2020; mobilization of resources for the implementation of the recently developed Regional Professional Training Programme on Climate Smart Agriculture with emphasis on adaptation and building resilience to natural disasters
• The status of the COTED-mandated Regional Emergency Response Strategy and Action Plan for the agriculture sector in the Caribbean and the regional and national initiatives undertaken by the constituent agencies in respect of disaster risk mitigation/reduction and climate change related initiatives.
• Proposed strategies aimed at creating a system for the Single Registration of veterinarians and other agricultural professionals in CARICOM Member States
• Improving the transport of agricultural produce in the region; removal of non-tariff barriers to trade in agricultural goods; and other supporting areas including marketing, transportation, investment promotion, private sector development and praedial larceny.
• Proposals for training of animal health professionals in rapid disease diagnosis techniques and a regional control programme for livestock pests
• African Swine Fever and the regional response strategy
• Plant pest and disease situation in the region, as well as actions necessary to safeguard against the introduction of exotic pests and diseases and recommendations for the improvement of plant health activities in the region; the formalisation of the Caribbean Regional Plant Protection Organization (RPPO); the regional response to Panama Disease TR Race 4 that has been recently found in the Americas
• Proposal for regional legislation on chemicals management, the sustainability of the national pesticide regulatory agencies in the region and the establishment of systems to manage empty pesticide containers and their disposal; recommendations for the future use of Glyphosate in the Caribbean
• Emerging opportunities: the business of cannabis and hemp and implications for the Caribbean - the commercial prospects and implications for divesting into or investing in cannabis and hemp
• The progress of the completion of the COTED- mandated policy for trade in animals and animal products
• Current and planned regional agricultural projects from the various development partners, mainly the FAO and IICA
• Regional value chain development in agriculture and fisheries
• Efforts being pursued within the areas of the blue economy; implications of sargassum seaweed to the region, as well as value added production in the fisheries sector
• The regional coconut project which was implemented in eleven Member States and for which phase two will be implemented over the next four years
• Recommendations for further regional collaboration and development of the small ruminants
• Achievements in the herbs and spices sub-sector and recommendations for further industry development.
• activities in the development of the cassava value chain and recommendations for an integrated regional value chain taking into account the high market demand for value added products in some Member States as well as the relative advantages for primary production in the continental Member States
• Requests from Chile and Argentina for market access throughout the region
• Private sector involvement and investment in regional agriculture development; strategies for greater interaction with the regional private sector groupings
• The global sugar market and the impact of EU sugar reform on the Caribbean sugar industry.
Minister Hutchinson will leave the island on September 30, 2019 and return on October 5, 2019 and the delegation will include representatives of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, National Fisheries Authority, Plant Quarantine Produce Inspection Branch, Sugar Industry Authority and the Rural Agricultural Development Authority.

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The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF) has been charged with the responsibility of driving the integration of the production of primary agricultural produce along all the stages of the supply chain through to value added and facilitating full commercialization of outputs of the agriculture, manufacturing, and service sectors.

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