Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean, has underscored the importance of agriculture in the region???s fight against chronic non communicable diseases.
She made this observation today while addressing a press conference to present four Barbadians with their acceptance letters to pursue studies at the Guyana School of Agriculture at the Ministry.
Senator McClean said the offer had come at a time when Government was aware of the importance of food security in light of the ???comparative advantage Guyana possesses with respect to agriculture and agro processing???.
The Foreign Minister also alluded to the role agriculture played in the island???s economic development and the need for Barbadians to engage in the sector.
???I think agriculture is critical for a number of reasons [especially as it relates to our health]. We in the region have perhaps; if we look around the world, have the highest incidence I would suggest, of CNCDs in respect to the number of cases of diabetes which are unacceptably high.
???Therefore, a critical part of addressing our health status, has to be food and nutrition???We are told that a lot of what we consume has significant health benefits and I believe that your efforts would not only help us to reduce our food import bill, but also improving our capacity to address our health status as we go forward,??? Senator McClean emphasised.
The Foreign Minister mentioned the successful rice project being undertaken by Sir Kyffin Simpson as another aspect of cooperation between Barbados and its South American neighbour.
???Under the Jagged initiative, he [Sir Kyffin] has invested in a commercial farm which serves as a model of cooperation at both at the bilateral and CARICOM levels,??? Senator McClean noted.
She urged the students to stay dedicated to the task and be good ambassadors for their country while reminding them that ???they will be contributing to maintaining that enduring friendship???.