The Inter-American Development Bank announced the approval of a US$400,000 grant from its Regional Public Goods program to enhance the capacity of the Caribbean labor force to improve the competitiveness of the agriculture sector.
Barbados, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago have joined efforts to collectively develop a regional strategic plan that will include a tool box with public policy guidelines, an information sharing system and a set of pilot training events. The Caribbean Council of Higher Education in Agriculture (CACHE) will carry out the project.
The Jagdeo Initiative of the CARICOM that looks at the agriculture potential of the region has identified access to agricultural-based training as a critical link to facilitate competitiveness of the region’s agricultural sector. Although the agricultural-based training in the region suffers from important limitations, information and communication technologies have opened unprecedented opportunities for qualitative improvements, expansion of coverage and reduction of cost of access to high quality educational content. There is need for a clear strategic vision for the agriculture sectors that identifies shortfalls and competencies in the region, and that provides a mechanism for sharing this information.
“The optimal use of existing resources is fundamental to promote a sustainable development of the agriculture sector in particular and the rural sector more broadly,” said Christopher Hansen, IICA Deputy Director General, responsible for the institution’s strategic alliances. “The IDB Regional Public Goods program is exceptional in that it facilitates the regionalization of valuable experiences and allows for the development of new capabilities. For that reason and based on the complementarities between our two institutions, IICA is glad to be an ally in this project, supporting CACHE,” he added.
- Christina MacCulloch