CARDI’s Executive Director delivered the key note address at the Agriculture session of the Bahamas Diplomatic Week, hosted by The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on October 16, 2017.
During his address Clarke highlighted that under the new Strategic Plan 2018-2022, the Institute will focus on value chain services, institutional strengthening, policy and advocacy, partnerships and strategic alliances.
A differentiated strategy will guide the implementation of activities across all CARDI member states. According to Clarke, this will enable the Institute to implement activities that better meet the needs of stakeholders in country. For the Bahamas, CARDI will focus on intensive crop and livestock systems emphasizing the development of climate resilience and intellectual property. Leveraging the strength of the tourist industry, agri-tourism and agri business development will be a major thrust of CARDI’s work on the islands. Organic agriculture, gastronomic tourism, value added product development, food safety systems and the generation of market studies to inform industry development will be important components of these programmes. Partnerships and Policy and Advocacy are central to the success of the sector and so CARDI will continue to intensify its efforts to build partnerships that will directly benefit agriculture.
To build an innovative, resilient, competitive Bahamian agricultural sector, Clarke highlighted the need for agriculture to be viewed as a business and a catalyst for youth involvement by leveraging information and communication technologies, investment and political will.