Jamaica to Host 5th Hemispheric Meeting on Agriculture


The 5th Hemispheric Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture, which will address strategic issues and specific mandates related to agriculture and rural life in the Caribbean, Central and South America, will be held in Montego Bay, St. James, in October.
Representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), which are the lead institutions for the event, met at a recent workshop to begin finalising plans.
The workshop, held at the Ministry’s Hope Gardens headquarters, served to sensitise stakeholders about the ministerial process and the upcoming meeting, including Jamaica’s role, task, and responsibility. Approximately 34 Ministers and secretaries of agriculture from the Americas are expected to attend, along with some 300 delegates.
IICA representative in Jamaica, Cynthia Currie, who was a facilitator at the workshop, pointed to the need to increase agricultural production in the Americas, noting that this would have a multiplier effect in terms of job creation, the development of rural communities and overall economic growth for countries and regions. “It is for this reason that such great importance is placed on driving agricultural production in the Americas through the Hemispheric Ministerial Meetings,” she stated.
She commended Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Christopher Tufton, for creating the theme for the meeting: ‘Building hemispheric capacity for enhancing food security and rural development in the Americas,’ noting that this has become the hallmark of Jamaica’s agricultural revitalisation process.
The Hemispheric Ministerial Meeting is considered the highest level meeting on agriculture in the Americas. It provides a dynamic forum for not only initiating improvements in agriculture, but also keeping agricultural policy at the forefront of national agendas across the hemisphere.
It is also seen as a way of unifying the efforts of small and developing nations to strengthen advocacy and initiatives in agriculture for the benefit of all nations within the hemisphere.

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