USAID and IESC launch market linkage workshop to advance food security in Dominica

On March 19, the U. S. government, through the U. S. Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with Improving Economies for Stronger Communities (IESC), hosted a national fresh produce market linkage workshop in Dominica.

This event is part of the Caribbean Agricultural Productivity improvement Activity (CAPA), which focuses on improving food security and expanding financing options for agricultural smallholders in Dominica. CAPA is an initiative under the U.S.-Caribbean Partnership to Address the Climate Crisis 2030 (PACC 2030) and is the U.S. government’s flagship partnership with the Caribbean to advance climate adaptation resilience and clean energy cooperation in pursuit of the Paris Agreement’s goals and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Senior government officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Blue and Green Economy, partner organizations, private sector enterprises, and agricultural producers across the value chain participated. They collectively affirmed their support for CAPA, noting that investing in smallholder farmers is critical to facilitating their integration in supply chains. The USAID-funded CAPA program will help Dominican farmers increase fruit and vegetable productivity; build relationships between buyers, suppliers, and farmers; and improve farm-level extension systems.

IESC Program Director, Sandiford Edwards, highlighted several CAPA initiatives that will benefit Dominica, including training on “farming as a business,” capacity building for financial institutions’ credit officers in agricultural lending, and establishing demonstration farms.

USAID Eastern and Southern Caribbean Regional Representative Mervyn Farroe reiterated the goal of CAPA, stating, “Investing in smallholder farmers, many of whom are women and youth, means investing in food security in a region struggling to produce and provide necessary food for its citizens.” USAID is committed to leveraging its technical and other resources to catalyze private sector participation and investment in the agriculture sector to spur increased economic growth and development in Dominica and the wider Caribbean. Representative from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Blue and Green Economy, Dr. Al Casimir, underscored the urgency of targeted interventions in the agriculture sector with emphasis on climate-smart resilient agriculture.

He outlined key government initiatives such as the windward island trade corridor for root crops and funding opportunities from the Agricultural Industrial and Development Bank. Dr. Casimir commended USAID for the swift response in hosting the workshop noting that the Government discussed the workshop with IESCs Program Director earlier this year. In addition to Dominica, CAPA is being implemented in Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Suriname, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, and Trinidad & Tobago. CAPA will also provide virtual capacity-building and knowledge-sharing events for stakeholders throughout the Eastern and Southern Caribbean region.

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1 Comment

  1. Pat
    March 22, 2024

    When ever you go depending on AID from Israel for food security, if all things🤔 I need not tell you more!

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