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Mexico Commits to Promoting Agricultural Development in the Caribbean

Mexico Commits to Promoting Agricultural Development in the Caribbean

Posted by Shanelle Weir on January 14, 2015

Mexico says it will continue to help Caribbean countries develop their agricultural capacity-building programme now being carried out successfully with support from the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA).

In addition, Mexico announced plans to help Central America with the programme that is now underway in 15 Caribbean countries.

“This expansion will help strengthen agriculture in the Americas,” said IICA Director General Dr Victor

Villalobos as he highlighted the results of the first phase of the programme.

In his report on the “Capacity Building Programme to Promote the Development of Agriculture” at a meeting involving the agricultural authorities of Latin America and the Caribbean, said that the training provided had made it possible to promote the development of agriculture in the Caribbean and position Mexico as a strategic partner in South-South cooperation.

He said that the programme had made it possible to identify productivity models that could be replicated in the economies of the Caribbean countries in relation to six key issues: protected agriculture, water conservation, family agriculture, sheep production, plant pathology, and rural tourism.

The work consists of both theoretical and practical courses and technical follow-up, with 295 people having taken part so far.

The training is provided by Mexican scientific and academic institutions such as the Centro Regional de Servicios Integrales para la Agricultura Protegida (CRESIAP), the Centro de Investigación Científica de Yucatán (CICY), the Universidad Autónoma de Chapingo (UACH), the Instituto Mexicano de Tecnología del Agua (IMTA) and the Colegio de Postgraduados (COLPOS).

IICA says it intends to focus the programme this year on subjects such as animal and plant health control in ports and at airports and border posts, biotechnology and genomics, water and soil conservation, family and backyard farming, rural tourism and protected agriculture.

The plan is to train 200 technical officers, in Mexico and other countries, with a view to improving the agriculture of the 21 nations taking part. The courses will be tailored to the needs of each country.

The programme is being carried out under a cooperation agreement between Mexico’s Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries, and Food (SAGARPA) and IICA, signed on 29 April 2014 during the Third Mexico-Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Summit.

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