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Region moving to boost Agriculture

Region moving to boost Agriculture

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The message of food security was the theme of the learned speakers who took to the podium one after the other, as the National Agricultural and Agro-based Industrial Exhibition (NAIE) got started at the Grammar School Playing Field on Wednesday afternoon under rainy skies.{{more}}

Possibly energized by the decisions made during the various meetings, round table sessions and discussions held earlier in the week during the Caribbean Week of Agriculture, the speakers, who included the Minister of Agriculture Montgomery Daniel, Irwin Larocque, the Assistant Secretary General of CARICOM, Director General of IICA Dr. Chelston Braithwaite, and Dr. Arlington Chesney, Executive Director of CARDI, among others, all expressed the need for the region to take greater interest in strengthening agriculture and farming, if the countries are to survive the difficulties facing not only the region but also the rest of the world.

The NAIE, which runs until Sunday, was commended as a bold initiative taken by the local Ministry of Agriculture, and calls were made for other territories to adopt and share ideas.

The five-day event, which highlights agricultural and farming techniques, agro processing, and a wide range of products, food and services manufactured locally, also features booths by regional and international contributors.

Competitions are also being held in a number of areas of agriculture, farming, livestock rearing and gardening.

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, delivering the feature address, used the opportunity to drive home the need for regional unity, in the face of rising fuel and food prices, climate change and financial meltdown and competition from larger entities.

“We have to struggle together on a banner of nationalism and regionalism, against those who continue to exploit us.”

“This event this week is in fact a defining moment, because the confluence of all the circumstances have come together to create an immense danger- but for those who have foresight, enormous opportunities.”

Dr. Gonsalves described Caribbean Integration as a noise in the blood and an echo in the bones of Vincentians, but warned that it would be a huge mistake for one to think

that any territory by itself could meet the global challenges effectively without the coordinated action within the framework of CARICOM and Caribbean support. (JJ)