Bridgetown, October 7, 2019 (IICA). Strengthening the linkage between agri-food sector and tourism in the Caribbean region will be the focus of a Regional Agrotourism Policy Setting Workshop, jointly hosted by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) – European Union (EU) Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA).
This regional workshop brings together 60 regional public and private sector stakeholders to discuss regional opportunities for increasing trade of agri-food products and investment in agribusiness development, particularly in rural communities, in partnership with the tourism sector.
Six caribbean countries, including Barbados, are already in the process of developing national agrotourism proposals to be considered for funding from the 11th European Development Found (EDF), a basket of funds of 35 million euros for agrotourism development in the Caribbean Region.
Technical sessions will focus on models for regional production integration and trade of priority food commodities (fresh and processed) required by the tourism and the food service sector across the Caribbean, and successful initiatives for the development of unique rural-based attractions that capitalize on the shared heritage and traditions of the member states of the region.
Presentations will be made by practitioners involved in new technologies in agricultural production and fisheries; regional buyers in the hotel, foodservice and supermarket trade; and from managers of world class Agrotourism tours based in the Region.
The workshop focuses on support services and capacity development, including successful virtual trading platforms being applied in St. Lucia and Jamaica and benefitting hundreds of farmers and top hotels, and a recent toolkit for Community Based Tourism.
Facilitation of financial transactions for trade and investment, application of blockchain technology in helping young Caribbean agripreneurs access finance, and where to access technical and financial assistance, will also be discussed.
The Workshop will be held on October 9-10 at the Radisson Aquatica Resort. Elizabeth Thompson, Barbados´ Ambassador to the United Nations, will deliver the keynote address on the workshop.
Ena Harvey, IICA Agrotourism Specialist
Isolina Boto, Head of the Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation, Brussels Office