As the Inter-American Institute For Cooperation On Agriculture (IICA) celebrates its seventieth anniversary, under the theme, “Sowing Innovation to Harvest Prosperity”, the Jamaican office is reaffirming IICA’s mission of promoting competitive and sustainable agriculture. To this end, IICA Jamaica has once again, and for the fourteenth year in a row awarded youths for their innovation and excellence in agriculture.
According to IICA Jamaica Representative, Mr Ignatios Jean, the Youth In Agribusiness Awards (YIAB) epitomises IICA’s principle of leadership through excellence. “If we are looking at food security in a serious way, we must encourage, promote and develop youth leadership in agriculture. This year, Nicholas Powell and Bryan Wright were recognised and awarded for their productive technologies, marketing initiatives and investment in crop and livestock production respectively. These youths exemplify and chart the direction in which the agricultural sector should be heading,” said Mr Jean.
Turning to IICA’s culture of information sharing and technology transfer among member states and to strengthen domestic markets, Mr Jean informed that the visit to Jamaica of the St. Lucian Minister of Agriculture, Land, Forestry and Fisheries along with a delegation is being facilitated by IICA.
“We are in Jamaica to explore procedures involved in processing liquefied eggs. St. Lucia is already self-sufficient in whole egg production. However, there are lots of potential for value-added industries, especially in the cruise ship sub-sector of the tourist market. Jamaica was chosen for this knowledge-sharing experience because of its expertise and, the good lessons it has to share”, commented the Honourable Moses Jn Baptiste.
Also speaking about his experience at the annual Denbigh Agricultural Show, the Minister was very pleased. “I am very impressed with Government authorities, their commitment to Denbigh and to agriculture; more so, the interaction of the Jamaican agriculture minister as well as the quality of the exhibits seen. It is evident that a lot of time was put into the planning and presentation of the expo and I leave Jamaica with a good perception of the agriculture sector. I want to thank IICA for its support,” Minister Baptiste said.
The Inter-American Institute for Co-operation On Agriculture was established in 1942 to address the Americas’ agriculture problems and foster mutual understanding among leaders of agriculture with Jamaica becoming the first English-speaking member state in 1975. Its Technical Assistance Programme spreads across a variety of sub-sectors in agriculture including agribusiness, agricultural health and food safety; and rural development.