CARDI Day 2020 like most other celebrations this year, will be quiet and understated. The COVID -19 pandemic has not only wreaked havoc on Caribbean economies but has thrusted the Region’s vulnerability to food and nutrition insecurity in the spotlight. In this regard it is refreshing to hear the pronouncement by the CARICOM Heads of Government (CHOG) of their commitment to reduce Caribbean food imports by 25 % by 2025.
I will not reiterate the many challenges facing the sector, as these have been well articulated and publicized. What I will do, is share CARDI’s vision for the development of a dynamic, productive, sustainable and climate resilient agriculture sector – as we set about to build back better. We believe once properly resourced, the Region’s food and nutrition security goals will be achieved and agriculture will re-emerge as a key driver for social and economic prosperity and significantly contribute in addressing the scourge of chronic noncommunicable diseases.
Caribbean agriculture holds tremendous potential and on the occasion of our 46th Anniversary I wish to reaffirm our commitment to the regional community on changing the trajectory of regional agriculture. CARDI will continue to leverage the breadth of its expertise and extensive partnerships to build a climate smart, dynamic, sustainable and productive agriculture sector. More