Caricom Minister – Let’s Feed Ourselves
ACM: St Georges, Grenada
October 19, 2010 – Regional ministers of agriculture are to begin a series of important meetings here as part of the 2010 edition of Caribbean Week of Agriculture.
However, even before they sit at the roundtable, they are going to be confronted with a series of recommendations aimed at ensuring the regional trade bloc is in a position to better feed itself.
Several key challenges emerged during first two days of meetings involving officials, farmers, financial agencies, agriculture experts and representatives of youth and women organizations that concluded Tuesday afternoon.
Producing enough to feed the regional population, 20 million tourists a year and retaining surpluses for export were recurring issues during the meetings.
The need to urgently reduce the region’s annual US $ 4 billion food import bill was illustrated by Honourable Hilson Baptiste, Antigua and Barbuda’s Minister of Agriculture, Lands, Housing and Environment at a press conference Tuesday.
Minister Baptiste expressed serious concern over the quality of food being imported if not dumped into the Caribbean, pointing to physical deformities now evident in young children consuming chicken meat laced with what he described as “unknown” chemicals.
Read full official press release (pdf): CTA Media Briefing – “Let’s Feed Ourselves”