Guyana to benefit from CARICOM COVID-19 Agri-Food Action Plan
April 30, 2020: Guyana is among the immediate beneficiaries of the CARICOM COVID-19 Agri-Food Action Plan.
The document outlines CARICOM’s immediate focus which is towards certain at-risk communities. “Of particular interest to the Community, must be hinterland populations in Guyana, Suriname and many other urban dwellers across the Region that have already experienced food shortages.”
The document was approved following a series of virtual meetings attended by Minister of Agriculture Noel Holder.
The objective of these meetings was to provide a space for concerted dialogue amongst the various Agriculture Ministers across the region.
It was during the first meeting that the Chairman, Honourable Saboto Caesar, Minister of Agriculture of St. Vincent and the Grenadines indicated to those present that CARICOM had mandated the development of a food security plan for the region.
The action plan is critical in addressing the surplus of agricultural supplies in several member states due to the collapse of tourism within the region coupled with the shrinkage of the food service sector.
It also helps in addressing the impact to the Agri-food sector caused by the restrictions of the movement of producers who commute with their goods for trading (inter-island trading).
The Action Plan was approved in principle during the last CARICOM-sponsored virtual meeting (COTED) of Ministers of Agriculture of the Caribbean Community held on Friday the 24th April 2020. In addition to the approval of the plan the Ministers further:
- Directed the CARICOM Secretariat to fast track decisions already taken as ‘Heads’ and COTED germane to Regional Food and Nutrition Securit
- Directed the CARICOM Secretariat to deepen its engagement with the Private Sector in pursuit of securing greater participation and investments in the Agri- food systems.
- Committed themselves, and to encouraging regional development partners to provide greater technical and financial support to CARICOM Institutions, and Member States in the implementation of the Regional Food and Nutrition Security Action Pla