Heads of Government Conference (HGC)

Back to all Post

Investing in, Building Human Resources Necessary to Achieve 25 x 2025 Goal – CARICOM Director

Investing in, Building Human Resources Necessary to Achieve 25 x 2025 Goal – CARICOM Director

The Region’s quest to achieve a 25 per cent reduction in its high food import bill by 2025 will require a highly skilled cadre of professionals.

“We believe that by investing in and building our human resources that we will be able to meet the desired outcomes outlined in our 25 by 2025 strategy. It is important that we have a highly skilled cadre of professionals who understand the mechanics of agriculture and linkages to trade, and who are able to make the critical linkages. We recognise that the necessary know-how and tools must be provided, and the training being undertaken will contribute to this,” said Ambassador David Prendergast, Director of Sectoral Programmes and the CARICOM Secretariat.

He was at the time addressing the launch of a capacity-building training for the Caribbean being held by CARICOM and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).

The virtual training, launched on 26 April 2023, with more than 200 participants, includes Agriculture in International Trade Agreements; Trade and Food Security and Nutrition; and Agri-Food Export Promotion Strategies and Practical Tools. The training is designed for representatives from government ministries and other authorities; persons who are directly involved in the formulation and implementation of agricultural policies and programmes in the Caribbean; private sector representatives and researchers with an interest in agricultural policy and trade analysis may also participate.

Amb. Prendergast said the topics were aligned with the agriculture priorities in CARICOM and would serve to strengthen regional capacity in achieving the goals of the 25 by 2025 initiative.

“The course on offer on Trade, Food Security and Nutrition will introduce fundamental concepts to this cohort and highlight the unique implications of the agriculture trade to small-scale actors in the region, in particular. It will also include looking at balancing food deficits and surpluses, broadening consumer choice, and the exposure/impact resulting to small-scale actors from greater competition,” Amb. Prendergast pointed out.

He added that developing capacity in the area of Agriculture in International Trade Agreements was fundamental to the professionals in the region.

“Developing capacity in the area of Agriculture in International Trade Agreements is fundamental to the professionals in the region. The global and regional agreements set out the overarching rules for countries’ trade policies and define the policy space available in agriculture for reaching food security objectives. This course will, therefore, support policymakers in the region in balancing the development and implementation of national agricultural development and food security strategies while considering trade policy obligations under World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) and Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs).

By the end of the training, participants are expected to be equipped with deeper knowledge of trade rules and practices “that will influence how you work to create an enabling environment for export promotion. It is our hope that you will be equipped with additional skills and knowledge to assist regional agri-food exporters in gaining or expanding access to foreign market, Amb. Prendergast said.

“Overall, we are confident that the training will strengthen the understanding of participants of regional and international policy in agriculture and its implications to the region. Participants will benefit from interaction with experts with both international and regional experience,” he added.