Categorized | National News

The Bahamas Serves as Hosts to the 17 th Caribbean Week ofAgriculture

By: Keile Campbell

Prime Minister Philip Davis, gave the keynote address at the opening ceremony for
Caribbean Week of Agriculture (CWA) which took place Tuesday morning at
Superclub Breezes Resort.
The importance of food security and how it remains an issue for almost every
country in the Caribbean region was underlined by many who spoke, including
Prime Minister Davis who called for unity between Caribbean nations in tackling
the issue.
“The need for more resilient agri-food systems looms large. This year, as you
would have heard, CARICOM’s research suggests that 52 percent of the English-
speaking Caribbean faces food security issues. The region has seen across-the-
board food inflation in double digits over the past few years largely due to supply
chain issues related to COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war. Our food systems
and economies are also very susceptible to natural disasters and climate-driven
extreme weather events.” The prime minister stated.
“Despite these challenges, I remain hopeful about our agricultural prospects. In the
past year, the percentage of people facing food security issues has decreased. And
we are well on our way to achieving the goal of reducing regional food imports by
25 percent by 2025. In fact, collectively, we have achieved 50 percent of this
ambitious target. This represents a great stride forward when it comes to feeding
ourselves and creating a sustainable agriculture industry.”
CARICOM’s Secretary General, Carla Barnett expressed gratitude to The Bahamas
serving as the host nation at this year’s CWA.
“Since the launch of the 25 by 2025 initiative in 2018, there have been several
notable programs and achievements across the region even with the delays caused
by the Covid-19 pandemic. Member states have been working to create an enabling
environment for inclusive, resilient agriculture and food sectors. Efforts have been
made to increase budget allocation; support digitization and innovation; climate
change adaptation and regional investment especially in niche high value
commodities.” Ms. Barnett explained.
“This week’s activities have been designed to bring together key regional decision
makers from both public and private sectors so that stakeholders in agriculture and
related sectors can continue to forge and advance a common vision,” the Secretary
General added.

Recently appointed Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources Jomo Campbell
said he appreciated that the international community can come together to
collaborate and share ideas concerning the agriculture industry.
“One of the key pillars of vision 25 by 2025 is the promotion of sustainable
farming practices. there’s no denying that we’re seeing more severe storms and
more extreme high temperatures. and so, we must prepare today for tomorrow’s
threats. We are in need of new, out-of-the box thinking and solutions. It will take
unprecedented efforts on our part, but together we can brainstorm sustainable
strategies to transform our food systems.” The agriculture minister said
“We can utilize strategies such as precision agriculture techniques, remote sensing
technologies, and data analytics so that we can optimize resource utilization and
improve crop yields, all while minimizing environmental impacts. Embracing these
innovations will not only increase our productivity but also position our farmers as
leaders in the global marketplace.”
Former Minister of Agriculture Clay Sweeting, who now serves as Minister of
Works after a cabinet reshuffle, was shown appreciation for his contribution as the
agriculture minister initially organizing the hosting of CWA.
CWA ends today, October 13th after sessions took place from the start of the week
where agricultural minds from all around the Caribbean gathered to discuss all
matters related to agriculture.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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