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Agribusiness Forum to Focus on Food Security

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#Kingston, April 15, 2022 – Farmers are being invited to seize the upcoming opportunity for learning and networking, at the virtual Agribusiness Investment Forum, on Thursday, April 21.

Hosted by the Agro-Investment Corporation, the Forum aims to attract 1,000 participants to engage in discussions on investing in Agriculture. Invited guests will gather at The Jamaica Pegasus to discuss matters relating to financing for agribusiness, access to government land and export opportunities. Chief Executive Officer at the Agro-Investment Corporation, Dr. Al Powell, said the aim of the virtual Forum spans specific focus areas. “It is to facilitate the positioning of agriculture as a viable alternative to any other business, get stakeholders to realise their objectives in agriculture and for the Agro-Investment Corporation to help them along the journey. If we can do these things, we will be on our way to making greater contributions to our gross domestic product (GDP),” he said.

Dr. Powell was speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’, today (April 12). The forum is being held under the theme ‘Investment in Agriculture – Driving Food Security’. Persons will be able to join via Zoom and it will last from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Dr. Powell said the focus of the forum aligns with the increased emphasis of the Government on food security.   “When we look at prices, our food import bill and the number of persons who don’t have regular access to nutritious food stuff at a reasonable price, we feel there is a need to further market and develop production, to see what we can do along the value chain,” he said.

Meanwhile, Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship Thinking and Practice at the UWI, Mona Campus, Dr. K’adamawe K’nife, said the forum will help to share vital information to agriculture stakeholders.

“For instance, the Ministry has an agricultural services unit which offers support to people to get incentives to take in things, such as drip systems and equipment. Those are done with concessions and can benefit our registered farmers, but a lot of registered farmers don’t know about these things,” he added.  Dr. K’nife also said the forum will be extremely useful in providing a platform and opportunity to network.

“Remember, your network is equivalent to your net worth and so people who are not connected will always remain disconnected, because they will not know who to turn to. The forum is going to be a nice beacon of light to people out there who are searching,” he argued. The Agro-Investment Corporation is mandated to promote and facilitate large-scale agricultural investments. The agency is also tasked with the responsibility to generate, stimulate, aid, and undertake agricultural development for the advancement of the Jamaican economy.

 

Contact: Twila Wheelan

Release: JIS

 

Caribbean News

Barbados to Host 41st Caribbean Travel Marketplace this Spring

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

 

#Barbados, February 2, 2023 – Barbados has been selected to host the 41st edition of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s (CHTA) Caribbean Travel Marketplace. The event will be held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre in Bridgetown from May 9 -11, and it is expected to build on the success of the 40th staging held in Puerto Rico last fall.

CHTA President Nicola Madden-Greig, who made the announcement recently, said it’s the first time in the organization’s history that the association’s largest annual event, which brings together buyers and sellers of the region’s tourism products and services, will be staged in Barbados.

“CHTA has a very strong relationship with both public and private sector stakeholders in Barbados, and as we position the region’s top earner for robust growth this year, we are delighted to lock arms with our Bajan partners to drive business to the Caribbean,” she stated.

Noting that: “This year’s Marketplace will also provide unique access to the Eastern Caribbean for buyers and tour operators as the region places a strong focus on the revival of multi-destination travel.”

Minister of Tourism and International Transport of Barbados Ian Gooding-Edghill, said the Barbados tourism industry was undergoing a major renaissance in the post-COVID environment, and the timing could not be better to welcome Caribbean Travel Marketplace to local soil.

“We are honoured to host such a preeminent gathering of tourism stakeholders from around the world,”  Minister Gooding-Edghill said, noting that the meeting aligns with Barbados’ value offerings, which appeal, among others, to the very important MICE [Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions] market.

The launch of the first Caribbean Travel Forum & Awards, a highlight of the Puerto Rico meeting, will return for a second edition and will be held in Barbados on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, ahead of the official opening ceremony of Caribbean Travel Marketplace.

The Forum will also focus on the business of tourism, and business appointments will be conducted on Wednesday, May 10 and Thursday, May 11.

Over 150 delegates, including Ministers of Tourism and key private sector leaders, engaged in the Caribbean Travel Forum last year.

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Bahamas News

National Food Policy to be created in the Bahamas

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

 

#TheBahamas, February 2, 2023 – A new initiative by the Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs in the Bahamas will see the creation of a National Food Policy geared towards ensuring food security on the island.

“This agricultural policy would encompass a holistic approach and incorporate regulations, legislation, and other aspects to assist the farmers who have not really gotten the attention they deserve for a long time,” said the Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs, Hon. Clay Sweeting.

Other initiatives within the agriculture sector will also be implemented, such as the digitalization of applications and forms, which will make farming more efficient.

Clay said, “we have already digitalized for the most part the Department of Marine Resources and soon we will unveil new services such as dog licences, import permits, and other services needed for a successful agricultural sector.”

The construction of the Cultivation Centres (TCC) in Eleuthera and New Providence with produce exchange, food processing kitchens and farm stores will continue.

Sweeting said he hopes these initiatives will help to decrease the country’s yearly $1 billion food import bill.

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Caribbean News

Guyana secures cryotherapy machines to help fight cervical cancer

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

 

#Guyana, February 2, 2023 – Guyana will see a significant boost to its healthcare system soon as the health ministry has acquired 20 cryotherapy machines to help treat and prevent cervical cancer, the second most prevalent cancer among women in the country.

Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy, involves cooling the body’s tissues for therapeutic purposes and removing the abnormal tissue. This type of therapy is also used to treat many skin conditions and some cancers, including prostate, cervical and liver cancer.

The Health Ministry said the machines will help clear the backlog of patients needing such treatment.

Director of the Non-Communicable Diseases Programme of the Health Ministry, Dr. Latchmie Lall, said the equipment will be very instrumental in providing immediate service to patients.

“We are indeed very thankful for this donation of cryotherapy machines that were brought through the IDB project; a total of 20 machines that are going to be used to improve our screening services for cervical cancer; this will come as a great measure for not only screening but to provide immediate medical treatment in that if we do find a pathological cervix, cryotherapy can be applied immediately, and we have one healthy patient going back home to her family,” Dr. Lall said.

Director of Primary Healthcare Services, Dr. Ertensia Hamilton, said the equipment comes at an opportune time when the ministry is extending its services for women of reproductive age across the country.

“We recognise that Guyana still has a high incidence of cervical cancer in our women, and so we want to be able to have services available to them as we work towards ensuring that each individual across their life course has services to meet their medical needs,” she said.

Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony, during his comment, revealed that Guyana is trying to develop a comprehensive programme for cervical cancer.

“One of the things that we are trying to do is to have a comprehensive cervical cancer programme. The first level will be to prevent cervical cancer. We want to do that by encouraging people to get the HPV vaccination. We have these vaccines available. We have been rolling them out to ensure that every person eligible for these vaccines gets them.”

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