The Agriculture sector in Dominica continues to benefit tremendously through contributions from the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) over the years.
IICA held its annual seminar at National Development Foundation of Dominica (NDFD) conference room on Monday in the context of the policy of transparency and accountability.
At the seminar technical Specialist of IICA to Dominica, Kent Coipel, presented the organization’s 2014 Annual report.
“The purpose of this report is to show transparency and accountability to our major stakeholders in the agricultural sector and provide an overview of the main achievements of 2014,” he said.
According to him, IICA’s technical support programs contributed mainly towards sustainable agriculture and food security, “contributing to strengthening the institutional and innovative capacities of public and private sector entities linked to agriculture and food security, including securing of grant funding and establishing revolving financing schemes, contributing towards the establishment of a coordinating mechanism for food safety…”
He noted that the programs also contributed to “adapting agriculture to climate change as well as strengthening the business and associated capabilities of vulnerable groups particularly women and youth.”
He stated also that one of the things IICA is trying to encourage is increase dialogue among women and youth for greater involvement in agriculture.
Coipel stated that as a specialized agency in agriculture and rural development, the IICA is “aware of the challenges faced by the agricultural sector at the national and sub-regional levels.”
He pointed out that in this environment there remain important roles for agriculture to play in the economic stabilization and development processes.
He took the opportunity to thank IICA’s partners for highlighting some of their achievements.
“The achievements are not of IICA but the achievement of the partnership between our clients, partnership with our collaborating agents as well as our local counterparts,” he said.
Meantime; Agriculture Minister Johnson Drigo said through IICA’s support, the agricultural sector is looking forward to the following; “improving our institutional capacity, to enhance our agricultural health and food safety system, developing value chains, to further enhance our agro food systems, this will be accomplished by bettering our technical managerial and infrastructural capabilities.”
He noted also that this development will also pay close attention to areas such as; “Niche markets for organic outputs and agro-tourism initiatives, improve the knowledge management for climate change adaptation and sustainable use of natural resources.”
According to Drigo the government of Dominica will continue to pursue the following in agriculture: “increasing foreign direct investment, ensuring market led approaches to production, strengthening possibilities and building the enabling environment for agriculture to prosper…”