|Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management, Dr. David Estwick, welcoming Ambassador Xu to the Ministry. (C. Pitt/BGIS)|
Barbados and China have been exploring options for further cooperation in the agriculture sector.
This was one of the major issues discussed when Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management, Dr. David Estwick, met with China’s new Ambassador to Barbados, Xu Hong, last Friday during a courtesy call at the Ministry’s, Graeme Hall headquarters in Christ Church.
Dr. Estwick, in congratulating Ambassador Xu on his new posting, said he hoped to build on the strong relationship and friendship which existed between the two countries.
Ambassador Xu, who also mentioned the strong ties between Barbados and China, disclosed that his country’s Ministry of Agriculture was keen on collaborating with its Barbadian counterpart.
Dr. Estwick also took the opportunity to update the Chinese envoy on the new University of the West Indies (UWI) Centre for Food Security and Entrepreneurship in St. Thomas; a project which the Minister said would "go some way" in developing training and the use of technology and research in agriculture.
Both parties also touched on issues related to agriculture at the regional level.
The Agriculture Minister cited the aging population of the farming community as one of the major challenges impacting the sector in the Caribbean and shared the view that the UWI Centre, through its use of science, technology and research, could help encourage more young persons to enter the field.
Ambassador Xu stressed that agricultural research was critical to any country’s development and he hoped that both China and Barbados would have further collaboration in this area through its existing bilateral agreements.