by Anicia Antoine
The agriculture sector has been dealing with a number of persistent issues, such as its legal and policy framework, disorganized market structures, and an increase in food imports, which is further exacerbated by climate change, high input costs, and decreased investments in production and marketing.
To address these issues, the Saint Lucia Marketing Board, in collaboration with the “WUSC (World University Service of Canada) Caribbean” and the Taiwan Technical Mission, recently hosted a national consultation on food security dubbed “Can Helen Feed Herself?”
The consultation sought to reduce the high level of fragmentation and homogeneity in production and marketing within the agricultural sector.
Ambassador of the Republic of China, Taiwan to Saint Lucia, H.E. Peter Chia-yen Chen says access to sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food remains key to sustainable livelihoods and the promotion of good health, remaining adamant that his government will continue to work with the Government of Saint Lucia and all partners to support food security initiatives on the island.
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, Food Security, and Rural Development, Hon. Alfred Prospere says that this latest intervention by the Saint Lucia Marketing Board, WUSC and the Taiwan ICDF bringing together all stakeholders of the agri-food industry in a national consultation on food security is timely as the Agriculture Ministry continues to move discourse in the direction of establishing and implementing agreed-upon production action plans, while also enhancing strategic linkages between agriculture and other sectors.
Minister Prospere continues to underscore the importance of food security to Saint Lucia saying that increased consumption of locally produced crops is contingent on greater local production.
The Ministry of Agriculture is at the juncture of realigning institutional, legal, and policy frameworks that shape the sector, and continues to forge connections between industry stakeholders.
SOURCE: Ministry of Agriculture
Better late than never. AT LAST Agriculture is being looked at, albeit, very seriously.
But our Minister and his Ministry are still 50 years behind where Agriculture is concerned. Still thinking inside the bubble. As I always maintain – agriculture is not only for food, but for sustainability in a number of sectors: health, wellness, household and furnitures, condiments, cosmetics and other beauty supplies. Everything we touch and eat has agriculture attached to it.
Wake up Mr Prospere and smell the coffee, and the chocolate … the list is endless.
It may not be too late for the ministry of agriculture. However, I suspect it may be too late to address the administrative induce crisis at the Department of Nursing at SALCC.