The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) Representative Mr. Gregg Rawlins now has a better understanding of the collaborative work being undertaken in Antigua and Barbuda
Rawlins visited Antigua and Barbuda, an annual activity which is implemented by the institute.
Part of his mission was to also identify the priority areas for the strengthening and transformation of the agriculture and rural development sector, as well as identify potential areas for joint work, aligned with the IICA Medium Term Plan 2022-2026.
During his visit to the twin island state Rawlins visited several public and private stakeholders including E.P Chet Green, the agriculture minister.
They talked about the “importance of exchanging experiences on the design and implementation of digital solutions to drive collective action and catalyze investments for the transformation of food systems, emphasizing the importance of Regional Cooperation and best practices from the Caribbean and the Americas”, according to the Ministry of Agriculture
“They also agreed that the Ministers of Agriculture should exercise their collective leadership to accelerate the transformation of food systems and to make the voice of agriculture heard in the most important CARICOM and OECS discussion forums on the future of modes of production. One of them is the upcoming Meeting with the Ministers of Agriculture, which will take place in the IICA Headquarters in Costa Rica in July of this year”, according to the statement
Meantime, a joint meeting was also held to discuss water issues “and what are the innovative technologies which would be used to harness the country’s water challenges”
Rawlins made his first courtesy visit to the sister Isle Barbuda where he met with the new Chairman of the Barbuda Council Agriculture & Fisheries Mr. John Mussington
According to reports Mussignton gave a brief history of Barbuda and “identified the challenges Barbuda faced associated with climate change especially where the water quality and the use of innovative technology is needed to improve the agriculture sector” the statement related
Mr. Mussington told Rawlins that he thinks that the agriculture sector should invest in alternative energy solutions, aquaponics, and water harvesting techniques. He explained that these methods are some of the few focus areas which should be driven in Barbuda
“While in Barbuda the team visited the site on the strip of the Barbuda lagoon where the green engineering component activities will be implemented using the vetiver grass under the EBA CBF –IICA Project as a potential land stabilization solution towards the soil erosion challenges which has been occurring since hurricane Irma,” according to the media release.
IICA National Specialist Mr. Craig Thomas of the IICA Country Office in Antigua and Barbuda also attended the meetings.