Several agricultural development initiatives, including the Blackbelly Sheep Rehabilitation Programme and a renewed focus on the exportation of Barbadian herbs, spices and condiments, are set to come on stream with the Agriculture Policy Programme (APP).

This was discussed at the official launch of the APP in Barbados on Wednesday, when several stakeholders gathered at Baobab Towers, Warrens, St. Michael, to deliberate on how they would work together to develop the various aspects of the programme.

While giving an overview of the 8.6 million Euro project, Barbados and Management Coordinator ??? Caribbean Region of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Ena Harvey, stressed that while the APP was funded under the 10th European Development Fund, it should not to be viewed like other programmes which have received similar funding, because there was a focus on building strong partnerships in the agriculture sector.

???Very often, it is said that regional organisations are tripping over each other with the same audience. With this programme, we want to make sure that we???re complimenting and not competing, that is why we???re working so hard at inter-agency collaboration,??? Ms. Harvey stated.??The APP has already been successfully launched in other CARICOM countries, including Guyana, Haiti and Trinidad.

???We???re focusing on designing programme activities driven by national priorities. In each of our countries, we have met with the stakeholders and we have developed a national APP with specific activities taking place in each country,??? she disclosed.??The overall objective of the APP is to contribute to enhancing the regional and inter-regional capabilities of the agricultural sectors in eradicating poverty.

It also seeks to increase the capability of Regional Agricultural Development Organisations to address the development needs of small holder agriculture. The APP???s implementing partners include the Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development Institute and the CARICOM Secretariat/CARIFORUM.

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