CDB Working To Accelerate Efforts To Increase Food Security

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The Caribbean Development Bank’s (CDB) Vice President of Operations, Mr. Isaac Solomon encouraged the Bank’s member countries to prioritise food security initiatives while accelerating efforts towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Speaking at the CDB’s food security seminar held on June 1, 2022, the Vice President expressed a desire for the relay of “tangible and implementable actions, to contribute to the Region’s agenda to achieve food security and reduce its import bill by 25% by 2025” adding that “with less than 8 years left until 2030, it is imperative that the region accelerate all efforts towards the achievement of the SDGS and our development now.”

The webinar, which was attended by a cross-section of global experts and participants, provided recommendations for coherent approaches to managing logistics and reducing processing and exportation costs of agri-food products within the Caribbean.

Solutions proposed included deepening regional cooperation and integration, which, alongside the implementation of systems to accommodate seamless cross border trade, the application of digital solutions, simplification of procedures and increasing the efficiency in trade and logistics processes, would positively impact food security stated Senior Trade Facilitation Officer at the International Trade Centre (ITC), Mr Pierre Bonthonneau.

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According to Mr Bonthonneau, who presented at the seminar, the Caribbean can impact its current food import metrics and the availability of affordable food for citizens by making trade formalities more effective, pursuing greater investment in technology-based initiatives while also embracing trade reforms and robust private-public dialogue and engagement.

Several of these solutions are being supported by CDB which is funding projects targeting connectivity, transport, digital interventions for trade and enhancing infrastructure at ports of entry.

Creating an appropriate ecosystem to achieve the SDGs, according to the Vice President, requires innovation and responsiveness to address social, financial, environmental, institutional, and economic challenges of regional food security which is embedded in CARICOM’s and CDB’s agenda.

The ITC Senior Trade Facilitation Officer emphasised that both private and public sector entities have a responsibility to institute measures to make the pricing of commodities cost effective given the fact that two thirds of the world’s population depends on imports to ensure a healthy diet. For the Caribbean region with its high food import bill, he indicated, solutions would revolve around regional coordination, regulatory convergence and leveraging information technology solutions.

Beyond this, remedies for building out the agri-food sector should leverage the Word Trade Organisation (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) which set binding obligations in countries to minimise red tape. This will allow border agencies to more effectively treat with perishable goods, pre arrival processing, rejected goods and reviewing and simplifying formalities so that the cost of agricultural products can remain affordable.

Easing trade in agri-foods will positively contribute the region’s vision to achieve at least five SDGs – zero hunger, gender equality, climate action, responsible consumption and production and life below water.

Also speaking at the webinar were Mr. Nicholas Zephirin, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Viking Traders Ltd. Saint Lucia; Mr. Stephen Farquharson, Technical Officer – Accreditation and Conformity Assessment at the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ), and Ms. Erica Luke, Managing Director of Eric Hassell Shipping, Barbados.

Source: Caribbean Development Bank

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

5 COMMENTS

  1. We are still talking about food, WHAT ABOUT WATER???? We still do not have any WASCO water in Choiseul. How could you wash your vegetables after growing them, or bath yourself,
    Lets do something about our pitiful water system. Hotels are still getting water EVERY DAY trucks are lined up taking them water.
    We need help NOW!!!!

  2. This is just another initiative by the CDB to corral Caribbean folk into perpetual debt slavery, as prescribed by their overlords from the World Bank & IMF (who are ultimately the hand-servants of the oligarchs running the fake democracies around the globe).

    Our food security model should be simple , cooperative, and reflect the low population profile of our region. The focus should be to grow our own, in our own backyards, balconies, or window boxes, up to the community level. Only if there is surplus to requirements, should the thought turn to trading, via cooperatives, with other communities. Only if there is a national surplus, should we look to export, first, to other Caribbean countries, and then outside of the region.

    The Ministries of Agriculture in each country should bear the task of sourcing non-GMO, patent-free seed; establish public-service webinars & TV broadcasts for training citizens quickly towards food self-sufficiency; establish community garden allotments for citizens who are unable to grow food in backyards, balconies or window boxes; establish livestock & fisheries cooperatives to provide adequate protein diets for every citizen, at cost!

    The profit motive should be removed from all food production centers; as it also should be for other essential services – education, health, shelter & even clothing! For too long we have struggled to live a lifestyle that does not match our circumstances & our population sizes; and the result is evident in the widespread criminality (at all levels of society) from the dog-eat-dog world we have copied wholesale from so-called industrial nations , and accepted as the natural order of things.

    We are better than mere animals – let us prove it to ourselves!

  3. St. Lucia won’t benefit from this because the government of st. Lucian was never and still not interested in agriculture talks talks and more talks.. I wish IPED can invest here … To teach these financial institution a lesson

  4. Keep your loans. If it isn’t no stings attached interest free money then I rather chop and freeze all my crops and save it for my family.

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