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Caribbean Week of Agriculture: 2014

The promotion of subsistence farming would be high on the agenda of this year’s Caribbean Week of Agriculture being held in Paramaribo, Suriname. The annual week long slate of activities aims at discussing the region’s ability to feed itself, among other critical issues. The programme will officially open on Wednesday under the theme “Transforming Caribbean Agriculture through Family Farming”.

While farming is a way of life in many Caribbean countries, it has been recognised that generations continue to leave farming for higher paying jobs. Agriculture pundits have long realised that in the face of a higher food import bill, it may be necessary for the region to entertain a return to family farming.

Suriname’s Agriculture Minister Soeresh Algoe touted family farming as “the backbone of our food production. Fostering, uplifting and transforming this institute of family farming should be our main goal when we are thinking about ensuring national and regional food security and promoting a healthy lifestyle”

In remarks posted on the official website for CWA Minister Algoe said that the promotion of family farming could strengthen the region’s production of agriculture.

Michael Hailu, Director of the Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation (CTA) in welcoming remarks pointed out that CTA has supported Caribbean agriculture through partnership in the region “from facilitating multi-stakeholder dialogue on priority agricultural and rural development issues to supporting capacity building, information sharing and awareness building initiatives”

Hailu explained that joint workshops on value chain development, climate change and climate smart agriculture, food and nutrition security among other issues in the region.

CWA was first held in Trinidad in 1999 and is organised by the Alliance for Sustainable Development of Agriculture and the Rural Alliance. The theme was selected in keeping with 2014 being declared the International Year of Family Planning by the United Nations.

Look out for week long updates on Caribbean Agriculture Week 2014 from Insight.

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