IICA celebrates 40 years of technical cooperation for agriculture and rural development in Grenada
St. George, Grenada, 9 December 2020 (IICA). The IICA Delegation in Grenada hosted a virtual event celebrating 40 years since it started operations in this country. In welcoming guests,
IICA’s Representative in the Eastern Caribbean States (ECS), Gregg Rawlins, expressed his pleasure to see many colleagues, friends, development partners and beneficiaries of IICA’s technical programmes who have closely worked with the Institute over the years.
Rawlins gave a brief historical overview of the office, stating, “IICA and the Government of Grenada signed on to a Basic Country Agreement in December 1979 in Washington, D.C. At that time, the acronym IICA stood for the Inter-American Institute of Agricultural Sciences, this was changed in December 1980 to the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture. However, IICA opened office in Grenada in April 1980.
The IICA Office in Grenada was the first of the IICA offices in the Eastern Caribbean, at that time it had its own Director (Representative). However, when the IICA Office in St. Lucia (the second of the ECS offices) was opened in June 1983, the decision was taken to have the IICA Member States of the Eastern Caribbean represented by one Director (Representative).
Consequently, Grenadian Reginald Pierre was appointed as the first Director (Representative) for the ECS, based in St. Lucia. Today, IICA Offices in the ECS comprise Antigua & Barbuda; Dominica; Grenada; St. Kitts & Nevis; St. Lucia and St. Vincent & the Grenadines.
The IICA Grenada Office was the seventh office to be opened in the Caribbean Region of which there are 14 offices.
In paying tribute to IICA, Minister for Agriculture, Forestry, Lands and Labour, Peter David, commended IICA for its achievements in Grenada over the last 40 years. He identified IICA as one of the most important collaborators with the Ministry of Agriculture and alluded to some of its achievements that included:
- Support in the establishment of the Pest Management Unit.
- Support in the formation and governance of the various producer organizations especially GRENROP which is an inspiration to women farmers in Grenada and youth in agriculture which is a critical area for the agriculture sector going forward.
In closing, the Minister indicated that IICA has always responded positively to the Ministry’s requests and on behalf of the Government and people of Grenada he thanked IICA’s Director General and Staff for all their support.
Among other highlights at the event, were a video recorded message from IICA’s Director General, Manuel Otero; a presentation of some of the major accomplishments over the past 40 years, which was done by Derek Charles, IICA’s National Specialist in Grenada; and testimonials by Judy Williams (Secretary General of GRENCODA); Reginald Andall (CARDI Country Representative); Robert Medford (Director of the Grenada Bureau of Standards); and Petal Rush, an IICA Grenada scholarship recipient.
Invitees from throughout the farming communities in Grenada, the national authorities and senior staff from the Ministry of Agriculture celebrated with IICA’s past and present local staff and other IICA staff members throughout the Caribbean region and IICA Headquarters.
Derek Charles, IICA National Specialist in Grenada