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Dominica IICA and OECS renew strategic cooperation

Roland Royer, the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Blue and Green Economy of Dominica, and Didacus Jules, Director General of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), met with the Director General of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Manuel Otero, to discuss joint actions designed to promote climate resilience in agrifood systems across the Caribbean countries.

During a visit to IICA Headquarters in Costa Rica, they highlighted the urgent need to institute adaptable agricultural systems in the Caribbean capable of thriving despite constantly evolving climate challenges. They emphasized the importance of technological innovation, the inclusion of young people in agricultural production, and the formulation of sound trade policies to support food self-sufficiency.

Minister Royer shared Dominica’s experience and underscored the need to use natural resources more sustainably to ensure food security and improve agricultural production in his country.

He also highlighted his nation’s continuing efforts to promote economic and agricultural resilience, particularly in the wake of devastating natural disasters.

“We’re experiencing a lot of variability due to climate change, such as longer rainy seasons and periods of rain that affect the way we produce on the farm. We’re moving towards irrigated agriculture and, of course, hydroponics, whereby we can sustain and supply agricultural products to the community applying soil conservation practices,” Royer said.

The OECS Director General emphasized the need to find solutions to guarantee food security in the region. He stressed the importance of developing a strategy aimed at promoting self-sufficiency and reducing dependence on external supply chains.

“One of the challenges in the Eastern Caribbean, which is not merely agricultural, has to do with the supply chain. To a large extent, this chain originates in Miami (United States), and when the Eastern Caribbean states aren’t being hit by natural disasters that city is, so we still suffer from shortages,” Jules explained.

Dominica’s Minister of Agriculture and the OECS Director General pointed up the collaborative efforts with IICA as an essential tool for addressing food security challenges in the Caribbean region.

IICA Director General Manuel Otero pledged to continue working closely with the countries concerned to promote agricultural innovation and climate resilience.

“Our aim is for IICA to become a knowledge management institution and be able to contribute data and scientific information to find solutions to the challenges faced by farmers and the authorities in the Caribbean,” Otero said.



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