A major regional agricultural conference will be heading to these shores next July.

The 47th meeting of the Caribbean Food Crops Society (CFCS), which will run from July 3-9, 2011, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, will bring together scientists, technicians, planners, farmers, agriculturalists and other stakeholders to discuss pertinent issues related to the agricultural, food and fisheries sectors.

The theme of next year’s event is "Assuring Caribbean Food and Nutrition Security in the context of Climate Change."

Some 150 delegates are expected for the CFCS Conference, which is being coordinated by the Government of Barbados, through the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries, Industry and Small Business Development.

Speaking at the launch of 2011 CFCS website this morning, Chairman of the CFCS Local Organising Committee and Permanent Secretary (Ag) in the Ministry of Agriculture, Barton Clarke, said the CFCS Meeting will focus on several important areas, including Crop/Livestock Production, Pest Management, Land and Water Resources, Fisheries Management, Food Safety and Security and Food and Nutrition.

He noted that the conference will also include working sessions, a Farmers Forum, an Exhibition of products and services and special symposia on Agro-Ecological Engineering and Invasive Species.

According to Mr. Clarke, the CFCS Conference can be very beneficial to Barbados in terms of the development of the agricultural sector amidst the critical theme of climate change.??

??"[It] allows us to indicate the role that agriculture can play, what adjustments we have to make, and the plans and programmes we have to effect to be able to treat to the issue of climate change. We anticipate that the benefits which would accrue would be that agriculture, the farming community in particular, will now receive information regarding problems they may have and, therefore, be exposed to solutions which they can readily apply.

"There are also opportunities for networking among scientists and farmers because another important feature of the programme is that there will be a special famers and fisherfolk forum… and this will allow them to present issues that are facing them and have the scientific community contribute by presenting solutions based upon best practice elsewhere," Mr. Clarke explained.

Deputy Chief Agriculture Officer and Chairman of the Scientific Organising Committee, Ralph Farnum, also called on interested persons who wish to contribute to the conference through presentation of papers, videos, and posters to do so as soon as possible.

He said the presentations were not limited to scientists or technocrats, but all stakeholders in the agricultural sector will have an opportunity to submit. The deadline for the submission of the abstracts for review by the Scientific Committee is January 31, 2011.

Persons who wish to register for the conference or submit papers may do so online at the CFCS 2011 website http://www.cfcs2011barbados.org/ or by emailing chair47cfcssc@minagriculture.gov.bb.

Further information on the conference and the criteria for the submission of papers, posters and videos may also be obtained at the same website or by calling the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries, Industry and Small Business Development, Graeme Hall, Christ Church at 434-5031 or 434-5020.??askeete@barbados.gov.bb

Author: Andr?? Skeete

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