Within the framework of INVEST CARIBBEAN 2015 conference, Dr. Henríquez emphasized the challenges and opportunities within the agricultural sector in the Caribbean and the need to promote research and capacity development in the region to help small producers.
(Washington D.C., November 19th, 2015).
FONTAGRO was presented at the Conference “INVEST CARIBBEAN 2015”, organized within the framework of the 17th Annual Caribbean American Business Dialogue, which was held November 19-20, 2015 at the IDB headquarters in Washington D.C.
The conference brings managers, academicians, and policy makers together with private sector representatives. The program included an overview of the current environment for the agribusiness sector and explored issues such as the implications of climate change, among others.
During the conference, a roundtable on “research and development, education, training and workforce development” brought together stakeholders with the donor community to discuss technical assistance and workforce development needs in the region. Several topics discussed included the emerging opportunities in the agribusiness sector in the region, with focus on niche market foods, fisheries and renewable energy, among others as well as investments with focus on small businesses.
At the roundtable, FONTAGRO was represented by Dr. Priscila Henríquez, specialist in the Management of Technological Innovation of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA), United States Office.
During her presentation, Dr. Henríquez reviewed the challenges and opportunities within the agricultural sector in the Caribbean, the need to promote research and capacity development in the region, and she also mentioned that the “investments in knowledge and innovation lead to concrete solutions to counter the effects of climate change in the region”.
In addition, she also said that small-scale producers in the region are specially affected by climate change, particularly in the Caribbean, where its effects include increased rainfall, droughts and climatic variability; which impact directly ton food production.
Dr. Henríquez also mentioned that IICA is promoting collaboration on technology and innovation among countries and cited FONTAGRO as an example of a unique cooperation mechanism, to support innovation in family agriculture, focused specially in agricultural research and capacity development of institutions of its member countries.
Finally, she mentioned that the Dominican Republic is the only member of FONTAGRO in the Caribbean, which has participated in 18 regional projects on family agriculture, worth over US$ 5.5 million, and obtained valuable results like increased crop productivity of banana, sweet potatoes and maize, among others.
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About Invest Caribbean Business Dialogue
The objective of the Invest Caribbean Business Dialogue is to explore emerging trade and investment opportunities in the agribusiness sector in the Caribbean; as well as to discuss challenges to creating sustainable and profitable partnerships along all segments of the value chain.
FONTAGRO is a unique regional cooperation mechanism that promotes family farming innovation, competitiveness, and food security. It was established in 1998 and it includes fifteen member countries that have contributed a capital of some $100 million. FONTAGRO is sponsored by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA). Its Technical Administrative Secretariat is based at IDB headquarters in Washington, D.C. FONTAGRO has cofinanced 98 projects and initiatives in its member countries for an approximate amount of $83.7 million, including contributions from other sources of funding and executing agencies. Its member countries are Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Spain, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
Carina Carrasco / Communications Adviser
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