With 90 percent of Cayman’s food supply coming from places other than Cayman and similar figures from other Caribbean countries.
It’s no surprise that food security was a hot topic as Caribbean Agriculture Week wrapped up today at the Westin.
Regional governments are committing to put food security issues on the front burner.
“There is a consensus and an agreement that we need to do things differently,” Barton Clarke, Executive Director of the Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development Institute says.
Regional governments are guilty of putting agriculture on the back burner to the detriment of food security. But that’s going change as agriculture will be on the agenda at the Heads of Government conference in Guyana in February…
“So there is a vision document that has been prepared which has been endorsed and so on by the ministers which will be on the agenda,” he said.
However Micheal Hailu, Director of the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation, admits the political will is not where it needs to be to advance agriculture.
“That is an area we need a lot of emphasis and try to get everyone on board cause that is a real issue that has to be addressed in a short time,” he says.
Agriculture Minister Hon. Kurt Tibbetts says demand for fresh local produce outstrips supply and this presents opportunities for innovations which citizens can capitalise on…
“What I would love to see happen is our own local people taking advantage of those opportunities rather than large investors coming in,” Mr Tibbets says.
And that includes young people who organisers said should also be encouraged to consider careers that help boost Caribbean food security.
Some three hundred delegates participated in the Caribbean Week of Agriculture bringing stakeholders from around the region together to create a regional farm and food strategy.