Efforts are ongoing to deepen technical and functional cooperation between the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries, Industry and Small Business Development and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Minister with responsibility, Dr. David Estwickmade this clear during a meeting with the FAO’s Sub-regional representative for the Caribbean, Florita Kentish, and officials of the Ministry of Agriculture at Graeme Hall, Christ Church last Friday.
Dr. Estwick mentioned the Market Intelligence System and the National Food and Nutrition Plan as two of the projects which the Ministry of Agriculture and FAO would be collaborating on in the near future.
The Agriculture Minister said he was pleased to commence work on the Intelligence System, noting that it would greatly assist persons in the local sector.
He added that another possible area of collaboration with the regional body would involve the professionalisation of the local fisheries industry.
According to Dr. Estwick, there should be a standardised format for the fishing sector which involved training and certification for persons.
Ms. Kentish expressed concern that not enough Caribbean countries were making use of the facilities offered by the FAO. She encouraged Barbados to take full advantage of the technical assistance offered by the regional body.
Dr. Estwick stressed that he would seek to create deeper linkages between his Ministry, the FAO, community based groups, farmers and non-governmental organisations to make better use of some of the technical projects of the FAO.
Both parties also spoke about training for staff of the Ministry of Agriculture, whereby junior officers would be assigned to the FAO for a two-year firstname.lastname@example.org