Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders have taken a critical decision with respect to food security and have set 2025 as the year when the region produces 25 per cent of its food.

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley disclosed this during her address to the nation from Ilaro Court tonight.

She stated that the food security decision was reached at this time as a result of the disruption in production and supply across the world.

“We are adamant as a region that what we set ourselves as a target for 2025, in terms of food security really ought to be brought forward, and … that we should produce at least 25% of our own food in the region by 2025. Indeed, I said to the head of the private sector organisation that food comes also in six-week crops and 12-week crops and livestock that can finish very fast, and that therefore by 2022, we need to see an appreciable improvement in our output in agriculture,” Ms. Mottley said.

She also mentioned that the leaders had adopted a joint approach in dealing with tourism.

“For the first time, we’ve had a CARICOM approach to a joint tourism policy, and why? Because all of us are facing the difficulties as tourism and travel dependent nations of what it is to see, in our case in Barbados, 90% of our numbers evaporated over the course of the last year, and by extension significant sources of revenue and employment, and not just in the tourism sector, but indeed across all of the sectors because as you’ve heard me say over and over the reduction in those numbers has led to a reduction in demand for the products of our farmers, for our merchants, for services in our country, and therefore we believe that working together, we can find joint solutions, because we are facing the same challenges,” Ms. Mottley disclosed.

She was speaking about some of the decisions reached at the end of the Thirty-Second Intersessional Conference of the Heads of Government of CARICOM, which was held via video conference, and had as its main focus the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the region.  

fabian.belgrave@barbados.gov.bb