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Posted by: dfr3xcda16 (IP Logged)
Date: May 14, 2017 08:18PM

‚?¶Agribusiness consultations open¬†By Tusika MartinCaricom nations must recognised that the ‚??so called‚?? posture of ‚??friend and partner in development‚?? is worrying at times, Minister of Agriculture, Robert Persaud, said yesterday.Some of the participants at the Caricom Public-Private Sector ConsultationHe said that for too long the Caribbean has been dependent on the production of a few primary commodities.Persaud was at the time addressing the opening of the Public-Private Sector Consultation being hosted by the Caricom Secretariat at the Pegasus.The consultation is being hosted under the theme,[url=$%&/]Wholesale Jerseys[/url], ‚??Aligning Policies and Support Programmes with Identified Challenges and Opportunities.‚??The Agriculture Minister said that in the past the region has been heavily dependent on sugar and bananas, which were both subjected to trade agreements that were termed ‚??of indefinite duration‚?? only to see these unilaterally terminated by the European Union.Persaud said that just recently, the EU showed little sign of remorse for its ‚??unfair,[url=$%&/]NFL Jerseys Authentic Cheap[/url], abrupt changes to the trading arrangements‚??. It now seems bent on using the promised package of assistance as a device for the region to ‚??toe-the-line.‚??In Guyana‚??s case, he said, there is a feeling that the recent abrupt and inflexible action by the Commission regarding the sugar accompanying measures might be related to the country‚??s principled objections to the Economic Partnership Agreements.“Such are the times we live in. These are only aggravated by the sequel of global crises,” Persaud told the gathering.This type of situation demands that the region put its ‚??houses in order‚??, very early,[url=$%&/]Cheap Jerseys Authentic[/url], Persaud said. The time has passed for the Caribbean to lecture about its potential but instead about its focus, he added.“Now is the time for us to take our activities beyond the usual talk-shop level and into an enhanced action mode.”He added that the region has several unique agricultural products that need to be branded and marketed worldwide.These include Guyana‚??s El Dorado rum,[url=$%&/]Cheap NFL Jerseys China[/url], Demerara Gold Sugar and Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. With the global crises on finance, food supply, climate change and constant new threats, the Caribbean Community has to be prepared to meet these challenges to mitigate and cushion the negative impacts on its economies, the Minister explained.As such, Persaud said, the significance of the consultation must not go unnoticed as the region can only weather these global storms if there is strong and effective public-private collaboration.The expectation is, he said,[url=$%&/]China Jerseys Cheap[/url], that the consultation will result in a framework for strong collaboration of both sectors to bring about improvement in the economies of the region, particularly in the area of agribusiness.The critical task, he challenged, is for the stakeholders to identify the building blocks required for a viable agribusiness sector.Until very recently, Persaud said, the real value of the region‚??s agricultural production has suffered a continuing decline.“Some states became spoilt by the availability of cheap, subsidized imported food; and only now that there is a real threat to our food supply, do we begin to recognize the value of food security and food sovereignty.”He stressed that there must be mechanism in place which insists on making Caribbean food more convenient and ready for consumption in any environment as he suggested that the regions should stop lamenting on the decline in consumption of locally produced food and start processing and packaging more of them in the region.“We need to work together as a region, as Public/Private sectors entities, and pool our resources to make our products more competitive. We need to identify which products possess comparative advantages and produce those.”In going forward, Persaud stressed,[url=$%&/]Cheap Jerseys From China[/url], the private sector must not be too overly dependent on the public sector nor must the public sector be lagging behind in providing the required institutional support and policy environment for the agribusiness sector.The two-day consultation, which will end today, is being hosted to facilitate dialogue between buyers and sellers of agricultural products.Another objective of consultation is the identification of potential synergies and collaboration in the design and implementation of the programmes of the agencies.Also addressing the gathering was Caricom Secretary General,[url=$%&/]Wholesale China Jerseys[/url], Edwin Carrington, who pointed out that if there is one thing for the region to learn from this period in global history, it is the urgent need for the Caribbean to act and to act as a coordinated entity.What is clear, Dr. Carrington said, is that more effective mechanisms for sustained public-private sector dialogue and collaboration are needed if effective proactive policy and programme responses are to be put in place for promoting agribusiness in the Region.These mechanisms, he explained, must be able to respond to the issues both at the sector and industry-wide levels.At the industry wide level, primary attention would focus on policy issues while at the sector level, primary focus would be on elaboration and implementation of operational programmes specific to the sector or sub-sector, Dr. Carrington noted.While this is not the first initiative to promote agribusiness in the Region, organisers of the consultation are of the view that limited scale; resources and coordination among entities have hindered previous efforts.

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