Agriculture Ministers from across the region are assembled in Antigua and Barbuda, for the 21st Eastern Caribbean Ministerial Meeting on Fisheries and Sustainable use of Living Marine Resources. The meeting which started on Monday will last for two days.
Officials from CARICOM, the OECS and even Japan are expected to discuss a number of issues including coastal environmental, opportunities for the development of the Blue Economy and improved food, security.
Antigua and Barbuda’s Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs Samantha Marshall said the time is ripe to think outside the box in finding innovative ways to resolve issues affecting the sector.
She said new policies need to be created that will help to modernize the industry.
“It is my hope that our discussion will enhance our continued collaborative results and mutual interest as a region. As a region, we face the same challenges together so it is incumbent upon us to overcome these challenges together,” Marshal said.
Meanwhile food security is top on the agenda and St Vincent and the Grenadines Minister of Agriculture, Saboto Caesar says he is concerned about the food supply chain in the region.
He said the impact of the covid pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war have made impeded the situation.
“There is a dire need for cutting-edge technology transfer if we are to harness the resources that we have in the blue economy.
Both ministers expressed their gratitude to the Japanese government for their assistance along these lines and shared their hope in strengthening that partnership going forward.
This is the first time in three years that the top officials are gathering and the first time a representative from the Japanese government is in attendance.