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Monday, 03 February 2014

Caribbean agriculture talks started in Trinidad and Tobago

The first in a series of eight consultations across the Caribbean has been held in Trinidad and Tobago last week to identify agricultural and fisheries priorities for the development of country action plans. The national consultation on the project funded by the European Union, Support to the Caribbean Forum of ACP States in the Implementation of Commitments, undertaken under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA): Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures, is also aimed at increasing production and trade in agriculture and fisheries.
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian reports that both public and private sector stakeholders attended the consultations at the Hyatt Regency in Port-of-Spain . The Inter-American Institute for Co-operation on Agriculture (IICA) is implementing the 11.7 million Euro project on behalf of Cariforum over the next 42 months. The Caricom Secretariat, the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) and the SPS Committee of the Dominican Republic, are partners in the project.
Underlining the importance of the SPS project, Gregg Rawlins, IICA representative, Trinidad and Tobago, declared that it is essential to integrate Cariforum countries into the global economy. “It is one that can play a major role in terms of trade and not just regional markets but access to international markets,” he said at a brief opening session.
Monica Paul-McLean, representing the Delegation of the European Union to Trinidad and Tobago, said IICA was chosen to implement the project since it had both the technical capacity to deal with SPS issues and had a presence in almost all Cariforum countries. Paul-McLean said the EU, firmly believes regional co-operation can help address the challenges of globalisation and mitigate limitations of small and insular states.
Paul-McLean concluded by saying that the EU expects to see tangible results, including solving the problem of a lack of regional and national administrative capacity in connection with the EPA provisions aimed at assisting Cariforum to gain and improve market access, complying with Europe’s SPS measures and to help Cariforum states to better develop their own regionally harmonised SPS measures.

Source: Trinidad & Tobago Guardian