Caribbean Agriculture Sector Suffered Tens Of Millions In Losses

  • The Caribbean’s agriculture sector has been severely devastated by Hurricane Beryl, which made landfall on the islands of Barbados, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Jamaica, and several other islands last week.
  • This effefts of the Hurricne resulted in a setback of the region’s food security vision of reducing its food import bill by 25% by 2025. According to Guyana’s President and the Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM) chairperson Dr. Irfaan Ali, initial reporters have indicated that the sector has suffered tens of millions in losses.
  • “The initial assessment is heart-wrenching to our farmers, our government, and the people of these countries. It is heart-wrenching because of the tremendous investment, policy commitment, and budget support that was placed in the agriculture sector since 2020,” Dr Ali, who is also the lead Head of Government with responsibility for agriculture, agricultural diversification, and food security in the region Quasi Cabinet, said.
  • While an initial assessment of the impact of the sector is ongoing, Dr Ali noted that there will be a ‘comprehensive’ analysis with technical and financial stakeholders.
  • Guyana’s Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha, who is the Chairman of the Ministerial Task Force on Agriculture, has been tasked to convene a strategic meeting in the new week. It is expected that leaders will explore ideas on how the islands can rebuild, make technology available, and plant quick-yielding varieties to support farmers. In addition to this, leaders will seek to address price stability and critical commodities needed.
  • In the meantime, the CARICOM chair has engaged with several regional and international stakeholders to discuss relief efforts.

(Source: Guyana Chronicle)