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Following a highly successful visit to Barbados by Minister of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry & Fisheries, Rabindre Parmessar, another delegation from Suriname will be visiting Barbados this week.

A three-member delegation from Grassalco will be here to meet with members of the private sector in an effort to increase trade potential in natural resources, such as sand, stones and granite.

This disclosure has come from Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to Suriname, Senator Alphea Wiggins, who said the senior management team from Grassalco, a company based in Paramaribo, Suriname, will arrive tomorrow Wednesday, March 11, for a five-day visit.  They are: Manager of Commercial Affairs, Patrick Bel; Deputy Director of Operations, Glenn Gemerts; and Deputy Director of Finance, Naomi Blijd.

While here, Senator Wiggins stated that the officials will meet with a group of Barbadian business persons who are involved in natural resources on Thursday, March 12, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade, at 9:00 a.m.  They will later hold bilateral meetings with interested parties, she added.

The Special Envoy noted that the recent trip to Barbados by Minister Parmessar, had propelled the Brokopondo Programme for Cooperation to a new level. 

While in Barbados, Mr. Parmessar met with Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, and held several bilateral meetings with the Minister of Agriculture, Indar Weir; the Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry and other private sector members.

Senator Wiggins said: “It is critical that we reduce Barbados’ food import bill as well as ensure the food security of our nation.  Suriname is not affected by hurricanes in the way Barbados and our Caribbean neighbours are, and so, in the event of a serious natural disaster, these contingencies are critical to food security.

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“By taking advantage of the vast land space in Suriname, business persons and farmers can expand their livestock as well as their vegetable and fruit production. Large businesses as well as fruit and vegetable importers will shortly be importing supplies from Suriname. About 100 local farmers have expressed an interest in working there and they will be briefed shortly on the rudiments of working on farms in Suriname.”

Senator Wiggins disclosed that land has already been allocated at Tawajaree, Suriname, and 25 acres would be used in the first instance for a commercial trial plot.  

She pointed out that the land allocated for farmers and technicians had been cleared, and construction of the buildings should be completed in short order.

Arrangements are currently being made to ship the Barbados Blackbelly Sheep to Suriname to expand their production, and a trial shipment of duck meat has already been imported. 

Shipments of pineapple have already been imported and other Barbadian businesses are well on the way to trading with Suriname, Senator Wiggins disclosed.

Barbados and Suriname strengthened bilateral relations in November 2018, when they signed the Brokopondo Programme for Cooperation. 

The Brokopondo Programme, under its agricultural project, has the potential to strengthen regional cooperation, especially in the area of food security. It has three components, namely trading in agricultural produce; utilization of lands in Suriname for farming by Barbadians and providing scientific assistance/collaboration.

Barbados and Suriname established diplomatic relations in March 1978.


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