The Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) i was meeting on Friday to continue deliberations on advancing the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) food systems agenda.
At the just concluded 49th Meeting of the Conference of CARICOM Heads of Government, Heads mandated the COTED to look at initiatives and programmes that will remove non-tariff barriers to intra-regional trade.
The discussion on Friday was expected to seek to move this mandate forward by rationalising several attendant issues including the approval of the Draft CARICOM Trade Policy for Animals and Animal Products.
COTED will also advance matters arising from the Ministerial Task Force on Food Production and Food Security (MTF), which is tasked with accelerating the CARICOM agri-food systems agenda to address the current food security challenges and rising food prices.
The MTF is also responsible for rationalising a pathway for CARICOM to achieve its 25 by 2025 Vision which is the reduction of its food import bill by 25 percent by the year 2025.
CARICOM Ministers of Agriculture were also expected to discuss intra-regional market access, market access from extra-regional sources, the role of private sector investment in agriculture, and issues pertaining to the Common External Tariff (CET).
Source: CARICOM Today/ SLT. Headline photo: Stock image.