(GIS) – The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) working within the interest of the local agricultural sector presented to stakeholders its programme of activities for the year 2017.
The accountability seminar, which was held at the Union Orchid Garden Center in Union, on May 30, invited participation by representatives from partnering agencies such as the diplomatic core, CARDI, farmer organizations, and the Department of Agriculture, to work towards a common goal.
During his presentation, IICA’s representative in the Eastern Caribbean defined his organization’s focus in Saint Lucia for the abovementioned period.
“IICA implemented in 2017 seven technical programs and activities relating to strategic objectives, and our strategic objectives can be divided into three categories,” said John King, IICA Representative to the Eastern Caribbean. “One is the external programs that IICA is implementing, the second one is the instruments that we call flagships, like family agriculture, the competitiveness of the agriculture sector, inclusion of youth and women in agriculture, climate change, and risk management.”
The latest area of focus for IICA was to provide support to the roots and tubers value chain in Saint Lucia, while giving support to the organizations involved in the value chain. IICA also focused on the nutritional health of the youth at the school level with the support of rural women, GEF, and the UNDP.
The issue of climate change and climate smart agriculture was a major part of IICA’s work program in 2017.
“I must commend Saint Lucia as a leading country in the region,” Mr. King said. “Saint Lucia is the first Caribbean country that completed a pilot climate change policy assessment and has finalized a comprehensive national adaptation program. But at the same time I’m encouraging the Government of Saint Lucia and the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure that when we talk about building resilience in agriculture that the different institutions come together to make sure that were are targeting specifics, sothat once there is a disaster we can act on it in the right way.”
Much support was rendered to the small ruminant producers of Saint Lucia, as well as rural women producers, and the Saint Lucia Agriculture Forum for Youth.