Seventh Meeting of the OECS Council of Ministers: agriculture focused on food and nutrition security in the region

The Seventh Meeting of the OECS Council of Ministers: Agriculture was held at the Radisson Grenada Beach Resort, on Friday, June 30, 2023, under the Chairmanship of Hon. Roland Royer, Minister for Blue and Green Economy, Agriculture and Food Security, Commonwealth of Dominica.

At the opening ceremony, Director General of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), Dr. Didacus Jules, reemphasised the challenges faced in the food supply chains in the Eastern Caribbean. Dr. Jules reminded delegates that the OECS states import a large share of the food that we utilise, with some countries importing more than 80 per cent of food in total food consumption .Dr. Jules said that the OECS Food and Agriculture Systems Transformation (FAST) Strategy was developed in response to the wider Caricom 25 by 25 initiative, taking into account the particular or nuanced circumstances of our subregion. The FAST strategy is a ten-year programme, which was introduced at the Sixth Meeting of the Council of Ministers: Agriculture in October 2022.  It sets out a regional approach to food and nutrition security, to transform the OECS agricultural sector into one that is food self-reliant.“We have had very fruitful discussions across all aspects of the strategy but also important cross-cutting issues like data, youth and innovation in the agricultural sector. There were active deliberations and I believe we have arrived at a set of priority actions for regional level action which deliver greater value through us acting as a group rather than alone. We aimed to draw out those things which provided added value through regional action. “There is a fierce urgency of now surrounding this challenge and it is not accidental that our strategy has the acronym ‘FAST’. Food is the most elemental of human necessities. And in times of uncertainty and catastrophe, it is the most fundamental provision that must be guaranteed.”Minister Royer reminded delegates that building resilience is not only about building robust infrastructure and implementing smart farming systems, but also the speed of recovery from climatic events.The Seventh OECS Council of Ministers: Agriculture was convened for review, comments and approval of the report of a FAST prioritisation workshop which was held on 29th June, 2023 by senior officials from agricultural ministries of each protocol member state.They were supported by the OECS Commission, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO). Officials recommended that the OECS Commission focus on three key workstreams from the FAST Strategy over the next three years, namely:

a. Private sector development: production, processing and distribution through import substitution, mechanisation and shared core functions across the region

b. Transport, logistics and trade through establishing regional associations, upgrades to shipping services and infrastructure and leveraging international trade policy for food self-reliance

c. Climate resilient agriculture through climate smart agricultural standards, biodiversity protection, and a water programme which incorporates water supply studies, water use technology and training in water systems.



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  1. Let's Face It
    July 13, 2023

    We’re going in circles around effects of neo-colonialisation.
    Unless you have combine harvesters and the heavy agri machines in at least two of your regions and, since you’ve signed on to all the WTO bullying shenanigans, unable to subsidize your farmers like ‘only they can’; you’ll only look good at meetings, with your store-shelves wide open, high food import bill and still unable to feed yourselves. Good efforts tho, but you’d better listen to me and my long open sentences, even though I’m maybe the only 800 lb gorilla on the blog.

  2. Ibo France
    July 10, 2023

    We have already begin to experience food insecurity in the Caribbean. We have most of the ingredients to make agriculture a viable undertaking. The problem is we consume too much and produce too little of our regular diet.

    If conditions are favourable for agriculture, why then is our food import bill in the billions? Our rulers lack the requisite vision, discipline and resolve to achieve our goal of food sufficiency.

    CARICOM members had a huge symposium on agriculture just recently in Guyana. Now OECS member countries are duplicating. Redundancy won’t do it for us. This is just another expensive talk shop. We need action less talk..

  3. MEME
    July 10, 2023

    Bla, bla, bla,bla….A forum for the greedies to eat gluttonously and drink quality wine while enjoying their per diems.
    23 years in office, and this administration has made NO in roads into the agricultural sector.Where is the coffee plant? What has happened to the abattoire? What about our coconut industry? And manufacturing? Do they even zone the country to demarcate where our best agricultural land is, or are they destroying it?
    Selling passports is the order of the day. The funds can be manipulated with at will, but it’s just for a time. Since after Peter Carbon, we have not had a real Minister of Agriculture…Same thing for Sports. Can you imagine Justina Charles was Minister of Sports, then another lady from Paix Bouche constituency???
    Bla, bla, bla, bla, like parrots!!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
    • Ibo France
      July 11, 2023

      Truth which cannot be refuted. Spot on!

      One of the biggest problems in the Caribbean is that our governments suffer from a surplus of hot air/babble and a deficit of action.

      The amount of money that has been spent on these unproductive meetings over the years could have been used to create a biosphere on the moon. This would be useful in the event nuclear warfare happens to obliterate all life on earth. That possibility is real.

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