IICA Moves, Again, But to a NEW PERMANENT Home!
As at 9 October, 2018, the IICA Delegation in Trinidad and Tobago (IICA-TT) officially opened its new doors to its new home, to its partners, beneficiaries and other stakeholders. Since its first opening, at 3A Queen’s Park West, Port of Spain in January 1978, following the signing of the basic Agreement with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago in August 1977, IICA has partnered with successive administrations which formed the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (GORTT) to support activities designed to improve local agriculture.
This latest and sixth move marks a number of firsts and new milestones for IICA-TT. This relocation to Brechin Castle, Couva is the most significant, strategic, bold and, as we expect, final move. It marks the first time in 40 years that IICA:
• will be housed in a property not owned by private landlords, but rather by the State. This provides much needed stability and security and also demonstrates a strengthening of the collaboration between the Institute and GORTT.
• will be in a location outside Port-of-Spain and beyond the traditional zones, such as, the East West Corridor, and into Central Trinidad.
This location is ideally suitable, as it:
• is in relatively close proximity to the also new and relocated Headquarters of the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries (MALF) in Chaguanas, also in Central Trinidad;
• positions the Delegation in closer proximity to private and public sector development partners, communities and producer organizations in Central and South Trinidad, which are areas well known for significant agricultural activity.
We therefore intend to build new relationships which will complement our very strong and well established relationships with partners and stakeholders in North East Trinidad and along the East-West Corridor.
This milestone did not start with the efforts of the current Representative, but represents the culmination of efforts by previous Directors and Representatives to secure accommodation from the GORTT.
It also, in large measure, is a result of the significant contribution of Senator, the Honourable Clarence Rambharat, Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries who personally was the main driver behind the successful relocation of the IICA Delegation. The Minister identified this building, championed the decision to lease the building to IICA through Cabinet and made available the staff of his Ministry to support and advise the Delegation on matters related to the location. IICA expresses heartfelt thanks and appreciation for this unwavering support and commitment to providing IICA with a permanent home, a reality. IICA also expresses gratitude to the Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs and all other Cabinet Ministers and the GORTT as a whole, for the support provided.
Moving from our previous location in St. Augustine and getting the office ready for business with as minimal operational downtime as possible, would not have been possible without the full and seamless working together relationship between the IICA Team, comprising the TT Administrative and Technical Staff as well as the Director General, Dr. Manuel Otero and Directorate of Management and Regional Integration in Headquarters who provided financial and other logistical support for the relocation and the combined MALF Facilities Coordinator, Mr. Gerry Gellineau and the CEO and staff of CARONI (1975) Limited.
It is my sincere hope that this milestone will be celebrated in the spirit in which it was achieved and will continue to bring benefits to our partners and stakeholders as we move forward, together, to build our shared agriculture through collective expertise, resources and empowerment.
Gregg C.E. Rawlins
IICA Representative in Trinidad and Tobago