IICA presents its contributions to the agricultural development of St. Lucia
Saint Lucia, 1 June, 2017 (IICA). The Delegation in Saint Lucia of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) held its annual accountability seminar, at which the Delegation highlighted the activities carried out in the country during 2016, and outlined its plans for 2017.
The accountability seminar, at which the national specialist in St. Lucia presented the Delegation’s results, attracted 50 participants from more than fifteen different entities in Saint Lucia including the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Physical Planning, Natural Resources and Cooperatives, St. Lucia Agricultural Forum for Youth (SLAFY), members of the Diplomatic Corps, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), several non-governmental organizations, academia, private sector representatives and private individuals.
The IICA Representative in the Eastern Caribbean States, John King highlighted gains realized in the agricultural sector in 2016, as the motivation for continued collaboration.
“IICA’s celebration of its 75th anniversary warrants introspection and open evaluation by beneficiaries in validating and critiquing the work of the Institute, and in ensuring that contributions generate the type of results and technical products and services of relevance and value. This is the rationale for IICA’s work in Saint Lucia”, stated King.
The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, Physical Planning, Natural Resources and Cooperatives, Ezechiel Joseph, recalled the start of the IICA Delegation’s work in Saint Lucia, noting that the Institute continues to provide support to the Government of Saint Lucia through the Ministry of Agriculture in a number of initiatives.
Similarly, the Secretary of the SLAFY, Tsian Theophile, expressed her appreciation to the Institute for development support, especially in its focus on supporting youth entrepreneurship and resource mobilization.
Among the major areas of technical cooperation highlighted in the seminar were the advances and planned initiatives in the socio-organisation and entrepreneurial development for CSOs; a focus on participatory and learning methodologies for capacity building of partners and beneficiaries; advocating and promoting climate smart agriculture; and improved institutional coordination for more effective strategic planning and implementation of interventions.
The Partners-in-Development (PiD) Forum which followed the presentation provided partners and beneficiaries with a platform to present their own initiatives and identified areas for cooperation. The forum highlighted farmer certification, collaboration on restructuring of the St. Lucia Marketing Board, accessing the Green Climate Fund, leveraging of opportunities for co-investment with the neighbouring French Overseas Territories, and the creation of a nectar garden as a climate smart initiative of the Mille Fleur Honey Producers Cooperative and the Floral Cooperative Society of St Lucia.
Brent Theophile, national specialist of the IICA Delegation in Saint Lucia