BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – On the heels of a regional discussion in Guyana on food security and CARICOM’s commitment to reduce member states’ food import bill by 25 percent in 2025, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has assembled a team of experts and stakeholders to examine strategies for transforming the agri-food sector, with an emphasis on improving cross border trade.
CDB vice president of operations, Isaac Solomon who will be speaking at the event described the webinar as timely.
“The flow of goods in the Caribbean remains hamstrung by an inadequate logistics ecosystem while countries continue to encounter challenges related to infrastructure and activities along the value chain. The region’s private sector, which is comprised primarily of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), is faced with constrained access and limited penetration of markets within and beyond CARICOM”, he stated. The bank, during this dialogue will influence, shape and formulate solutions with the input of regional and global expertise.
On June 1, 2022, at 10:00 am AST representatives of the International Trade Centre (ITC), the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ), the private and public sector will convene to identify opportunities for unlocking regional markets for agri-food MSMEs.
Discussions will also explore how the region can increase trade in agriculture and its related commodities and support intensified efforts to achieve food security and increase the participation of MSMEs and the private sector. Recommendations from the business sector to unravel problems at each point in the logistics ecosystem restricting the movement of goods from the producer to the shipper, to the port and then to the shelves will be presented.
Regional infrastructure inclusive of road networks, seaports and airports, existing warehousing, storage and distribution centres, regulatory agencies including border security agencies and other elements of the logistics networks will be examined. Building on the region’s successes in the sectors and examining the role of regional institutions in supporting the objectives of regional governments, this event will advance the critical issue of regional food security which demands strong emphasis particularly as it relates to addressing the logistical challenges that connectivity places on regional trade.
This seminar is the first of several to be held as part of the bank’s annual meeting of its highest decision-making body, the board of governors. The 52nd annual meeting will be hosted in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) after a two-year hiatus of in person events due to prevailing travel restrictions.
This year’s meeting and related activities revolve around the theme measure better to target better and will chart a course for adaptation and resilience as the Bank intensifies support its Borrowing Member Countries to close distance to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The SDG in focus at this webinar is SDG two-ending hunger, achieving food security and improving nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture.