Fulfilling our commitment to the Caribbean Region

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1 Fulfilling our commitment to the Caribbean Region Special Report on Key Projects and Achievements Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture

2 Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) Fulfilling our commitment to the Caribbean Region : special report on key projects and achievements is published under license from Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 unported Available in PDF format at IICA encourages the fair use of this document. Proper citation is requested. Editorial coordination: Victor Del Angel, Ena Harvey and Alfredo Valerio Editing: Doreen Preston Layout: Karla Cruz Cover design: Karla Cruz Cover photograph: IICA Grenada Printed: IICA Print Shop San Jose, Costa Rica, 2012

3 Table of Contents Foreword Summary of key achievements and projects Antigua and Barbuda Bahamas Barbados Commonwealth of Dominica Dominican Republic Grenada Guyana Haiti Jamaica Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Vincent and The Grenadines Suriname Trinidad and Tobago Results and Achievements Regional Level Externaly Funded Projects by Country Competitive Fund for Technical Cooperation IICA-CONACYT Scholarship Program

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5 Foreword The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) is pleased to present this Special Report for the Caribbean Region, which provides information on the projects and initiatives undertaken by our IICA offices across the fourteen (14) Member States in the Caribbean during the period The Report highlights results achieved at the policy and institutional levels with Ministries of Agriculture and national authorities in strengthening their capacity for strategic planning, and in delivering timely information and high quality services to the agricultural and rural sectors. It also showcases the many initiatives where, through local actions with rural communities, women and youth networks, as well as with the private sector, we have sown the seeds of new knowledge, through training and capacity building.. seeds which are being realized in a harvest of new skills in applying innovations in agricultural production, agribusiness management, adopting climate smart agriculture, and controlling economically important pests and diseases. Through our efforts, positive results and impacts are already being realized, including improvements in productivity, greater involvement of stakeholders across the value chain, increased visibility of women and youth, access to local and export markets, and the sustainable management of natural resources. All of this has been made possible through the hard work, commitment and dedication of the excellent team of professionals and support staff in the offices in the Member States, IICA Staff at Headquarters, our international specialists, and our partner agencies in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Institute will continue in its efforts to provide relevant and tangible support to the Region s agricultural and rural sectors, and to fulfil its commitment to promoting competitive and sustainable agriculture in the Americas. Víctor M. Villalobos Director General 5

6 Photo: Emmanuel Fenelon

7 1 Summary of key achievements and projects The IICA Country Strategies represent the technical cooperation programmes developed by our IICA Offices in the Member States, in collaboration with the Ministries of Agriculture and key stakeholders, and approved for implementation during In total, the IICA Offices are implementing some 44 projects across the four Technical Concentration Programmes of Agribusiness and Commercialization, Innovation for Productivity and Competitiveness, Agricultural Health and Food Safety, as well as Agriculture, Territories and Rural Well-being, and the two Cross-Cutting Programmes of Agriculture and Food Security, and Agriculture, Natural Resource Management and Climate Change. 7

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9 Special Report on Key Projects and Achievements Antigua and Barbuda Low Cost Energy Options On-Farm The capacity of technicians in the Ministry of Agriculture, pig farmers and other livestock producers to manage waste and increase energy efficiency on farms, was strengthened with the introduction of low cost biogas technology to Antigua and Barbuda. One complete biogas unit was constructed on a farmer s holding and complemented with a series of theoretical and practical demonstration sessions by professionals of the Institute. One technician from the Ministry of Agriculture was also supported to visit an integrated farm in Costa Rica, in an effort to strengthen the Ministry s internal capacity to support the livestock sector with the further development and implementation of this low cost technology. Women, Youth and Agribusiness The members of the Antigua Agro Processors Association (AAPA) and the Antigua and Barbuda Agriculture Forum for Youth (ABAFY) are now better organized and more efficient because of assistance from IICA with strengthening of management and operational structures. AAPA participated in the national pineapple and mango festivals and won the award for the best booth display at the mango festival. Climate Change, Food Security and Health The profile and image of the Institute were significantly enhanced with the effective collaboration and hosting of the first national workshop on Climate Change and Health in Antigua and Barbuda. This workshop was a joint initiative among the three Inter-American Agencies operating in the country and a National Institution namely: The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the Organization of American States (OAS), Inter- American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the Ministry of Health. Sustainable Livestock Production Following the visit of an IICA livestock specialist, recommendations have been provided for the sustainable development of the small ruminant sector in Antigua & Barbuda. Plans for the sector include the establishment of demonstration units with improved management on selected farms, improved legislation on dog predation and control of larceny. A National Agricultural Information System (NAIS) With assistance from the Programme for Agribusiness and Commercialization (PAC), the Ministry of Agriculture has been provided with recommendations to organize and develop a nation-wide system to provide producers and other industry stakeholders with strategic information to assist them in making sound marketing decisions. The NAIS will be developed over the next 12 to 18 months. 9

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11 Special Report on Key Projects and Achievements Bahamas Sustainable Use of Natural Resources for Handicraft Associations and individual female craft artisans in the Bahamas have the tools needed to improve the quality of their handicraft using local agricultural materials. This has been made possible under a US$85,000 project, financed by UN Women and implemented by IICA. Strengthening of SPS Measures The Ministry has prioritised the strengthening of SPS measures to guarantee the safety of local foods and to facilitate exports. To this end, IICA is preparing two PVS assessments in Food Safety and Animal Health and a project to establish small slaughter houses in the main islands. IICA also hosted a videoconference on the new U.S. Food Safety Modernisation Act and Codex Alimentarius. Information Sharing on Greenhouse Technology Local stakeholders have acquired technical information from IICA, which has helped them to improve their agricultural activities, through the organization and hosting of two conferences on greenhouse technology. Investment in Agribusiness and Tourism Linkages At least 5 project proposals have been prepared by the IICA Office in collaboration with Bahamas Hotel Association, Ministry of Tourism, Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation and the Ministry of Education. A SWOT analysis and strategic workshops were held in the 6 main islands (Grand Bahama, Abaco, Andros, Exuma, Long Island and Eleuthera) in collaboration with MAMR, BAIC, BAPA and The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce as preparatory work for the proposals. IICA is also collaborating on a pilot project for the North Andros High School to provide vegetables to Sheraton Hotel in Nassau. IICA will also undertake a project proposal with funding from the IDB for Abaco farmers and is working with the BAIC on the marketing of sea sponges. 11

12 Photo: Rosmary Parkinson

13 Special Report on Key Projects and Achievements Barbados Compliance with International Food Safety Standards The capacity of the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Health, and the Barbados National Standard Institute to understand and comply with international standards and agreements, has been enhanced as a result of attendance and active participation of officers in international and regional Codex Alimentarius meetings, facilitated by IICA. Training of Trainers in HACCP Twenty-one (21) officials of the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Health are now better able to comply with international standards in food safety as a result of training and international certification by the International HACCP Alliance in HACCP. The training was planned and executed by IICA Barbados, in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the IICA PAC (Programme for Agribusiness and Commercialization) and Texas Tech University. PhytoSanitary Toolbox for the Ministry of Agriculture The diagnostic capacity of the Ministry of Agriculture in DNA-based techniques for the detection of plant pathogens, has been significantly enhanced through a 3-day workshop that was planned and executed jointly by the University of the West Indies (Cave Hill, Barbados campus), IICA Barbados, and the Barbados Ministry of Agriculture. Twelve participants from the Ministry of Agriculture were trained in DNA-based techniques, including molecular databases in primer design and real time PCR, thereby providing personnel from the Ministry of Agriculture with a variety of phytosanitary tools. Capacity-building for Plant Quarantine Inspectors The technical capability of plant quarantine inspectors has been improved as a result of advanced training in plant quarantine inspection techniques. This training was planned and executed jointly by a team of partner agencies comprising USDA-APHIS, FAO, IICA, and the University of the West Indies (St. Augustine Campus). This is the second year of this course and it is expected to continue as an annual training event. Youth Farm Programme Youth in Barbados have increased understanding and improved skills in basic agriculture as a result of a highly successful Youth Farm Programme planned and executed by IICA, in collaboration with the Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) Council of Barbados and the Ministry of Agriculture. Delivered over a seven-week period, the programme trained fifteen (15) young people selected from three secondary schools in sustainable farming methods, ornamental horticulture, and animal husbandry. The programme also included modules on good agricultural practices, post-harvest principles and agribusiness management. This is the inaugural programme, and it is expected that it will become an annual fixture on the Barbados agricultural calendar. 13

14 Photo: JTAS Tours

15 Special Report on Key Projects and Achievements Commonwealth of Dominica National Farm Inspection and Certification Programme The capacity of personnel within the Ministry of Agriculture and other public sector agencies, as well as farmers and exporters, has been strengthened to effectively implement the National Farm Inspection and Certification Programme. Thirty farms were assessed against the requirements of the recommended standards. Strengthening the Institutional Framework for Food Safety Consumer confidence in agricultural health and food safety systems has improved, following a national consultation on food safety policy convened by IICA, in collaboration with the Environmental Health Unit, Division of Agriculture and Forestry, and the Dominica Bureau of Standards. An advisory committee was also set up to spearhead the establishment of a National Agricultural Health and Food Safety System for Dominica. The Bureau of Standards is one step closer to implementing the Fresh Produce Export Quality Control and Inspection Act with the training of twenty-five (25) fresh produce quality inspectors. Inspectors received training in fresh produce standards, international trading requirements, and SPS issues. National Agricultural Policy The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has been provided with a draft agricultural policy, based on three pillars of Environmental Sustainability, Enhanced Competitiveness, and Food and Nutrition Security with Sovereignty. The design of this Policy was spearheaded by CAESPA and included intense and wide-ranging consultations with public and private stakeholders, as well as review of international and regional initiatives and priorities. Useful Tools for Farmers and Extension Officers The capabilities and capacities of five agricultural service providers, twenty farmers, and fifteen extension officers to respond to market demands, were strengthened through a training workshop on cost of production. Through this workshop, the participants improved their ability to determine cost of production for selected commodities, and determine the market competitiveness of selected commodities. Supporting Youth in Beekeeping and Onion Production The productive capacities of two agribusiness groups were strengthened through the procurement of material and equipment to enhance production and improve the ability of members to engage in agricultural activities. Ten members of the Agricultural Women s Movement were introduced to onion production, while the beekeepers cooperative received thirty functional beehives, along with protective gear and honey extraction equipment, in an effort to replace hives lost during the 2010 Mathieu Dam Disaster. The latter activity afforded the opportunity to introduce twenty young entrepreneurs to bee- keeping, and to receive training in bee rearing, honey production and construction of hives. 15

16 Photo: Martín Estrella

17 Special Report on Key Projects and Achievements Dominican Republic Strengthened Border Quarantine Services The Ministry of Agriculture of the Dominican Republic can provide high quality inspection services to facilitate trade, through the implementation of a project to strengthen international quarantine in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, financed by the USDA. Innovations in Rice Production and AgroForestry National rice producers have the information and tools to achieve increased yields while limiting production costs with reduced environmental impact, through the application of innovative systems of rice intensification, promoted by the IICA Office through the Ministry of Agriculture and sector institutions. The Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Environment, producer associations, and individual farmers throughout the country have also received training in innovative intensive silvopastoral systems, which they can use to increase production capacity and reduce costs. Integrated Farming for Food Security Some 100 producers in the areas of Monte Plata and Yamasá have strengthened their capacity to improve their food security and that of their families, through animal husbandry, processing of organic fertilizer, production of vegetables and rain-fed rice, using the Integrated Farm Model. Access to Export Markets The Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, as well as institutions involved in international trade in agricultural products have strengthened their capacity to manage trade agreements to which the country is a signatory, through two IICA training workshops. At the private sector level, 25 producer organizations and private producers have improved their business and networking skills to access the EU market through France, with the implementation of a fourth edition of the Agro-export platform. 17

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19 Special Report on Key Projects and Achievements Grenada Agribusiness Development for Women SMEs Twenty-five members of the national chapters of three members of the Alliance (CABA, CAFY and CANROP) have enhanced their capacity to develop and manage small-scale projects, through participation in project development workshops, organized and conducted jointly by IICA and the Ministry of Agriculture. Local Market Access for Women Producers The Grenada Network of Rural Women Producers (GRENROP), which serves as the national chapter of CANROP, has formulated and is about to implement, a joint marketing venture with a major supermarket chain in the city. Members of GRENROP are currently in negotiations for its members to be granted supply contracts to become the exclusive suppliers of herbs and processed agricultural products to the supermarket chain. Cooperatives in Agribusiness with ICTs Twenty agribusiness operators, drawn from two community-based cooperatives, and the national chapters of CABA, CAFY and CANROP have improved their business management capabilities as a result of their participation in a two-day IICA workshop entitled Small Business Management using ICT. Participants were taught how to store, retrieve, manipulate, and transmit/receive information electronically, and how to use market reports, and prepare basic financial statements. Management of Nutmeg Wilt / Root Rot Disease Thirty-one local agricultural technicians and nutmeg farmers have increased their capacity to diagnose and treat the nutmeg wilt/root rot disease affecting Grenada s nutmeg trees. This was made possible through the services of a Plant Pathologist (Dr Randy C. Ploetz, of the University of Florida) contracted by IICA. The pathologist engaged the technicians and farmers in a series of field and classroom sessions related to the diagnosis and treatment of the nutmeg wilt/root rot disease, and also provided guidelines for management of the disease. Management Plan for Government Estates National authorities have a management plan for the development and commercialization of four government estate farms. The Plan was developed on the basis of site visits undertaken by an IICA technical team and broadbased stakeholder participation. It has been submitted to the Cabinet of Grenada for approval. 19

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21 Special Report on Key Projects and Achievements Guyana Promoting Alternative Income-Generation Activities through Agro-EcoTourism Poor, rural communities have been provided with opportunities for income generation in that community through the construction and operation of an ecolodge, with associated rural enterprise development. The operation of the lodge has increased the number of stay-over visitors at Lake Capoey Village in the Essequibo Region. Marketing of Honey and Beeswax Employment opportunities for youth in Aliki Village on the Essequibo River have been created through the establishment and operation of beehives. The hives have begun to produce honey which will be marketed within and outside of the community and the youth will soon be involved in training to produce value-added apiary products, including beeswax. Partnerships Lead to Investment in Shade House Production IICA Guyana, together with CIDA, FAO, Partners of the Americas and CASRI, have succeeded in establishing a 40ft x 20ft shade house for the cultivation of vegetables at the Vocational Training Institute, as well as 30 small commercial shade-houses at the community level. It is expected that these investments would contribute to productivity in agriculture, as well as train future farmers in new technologies. Skills Training for Women AgroProcessors The organizational and processing skills of fourteen of the members of the Women Agro-processors Development Network (WADN) were enhanced, through a programme of technical and logistical support provided by IICA. IICA and the VSO also facilitated the marketing of WADN products to Sterling Products Limited, and this has increased the market share of the relevant member groups, as well as their income-generating capacity. Management of Black Sigatoka Disease Through participation in IICA seminars, the technical personnel of the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI), the New Guyana Marketing Corporation (NGMC), and several fruit crop producers, gained awareness in the diagnosis and treatment of Black Sigatoka disease. 21

22 Photo: Emmanuel Fenelon

23 Special Report on Key Projects and Achievements Haiti Strengthened Institutional Capacity in Quarantine and Surveillance The Plant Protection Directorate of the Ministry of Agriculture was provided with a plan of operation for the strengthening of animal and plant health at the national level, including quarantine, epidemiological surveillance, laboratory and plant protection. This plan was based on collaborative efforts of different donors (IDB, WB, USDA- APHIS, European Union), with technical assistance from IICA, through the bi-national project to strengthen international quarantine. Technical Training in Protected Agriculture 115 executives from public and private institutions, as well as universities, have improved their technical capabilities in the area of protected agriculture. Intensive training was provided for 44 officials, with funding from CARDI and USDA, and with training provided by four Mexican, four Dominican, one Jamaican and four Haitian specialists. Horizontal Cooperation in Technical Programmes The MARNDR has strengthened its horizontal cooperation with other countries, with the support of IICA, through: 1) several technical activities (missions, activities and projects) with the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico, Uruguay and Brazil; 2) cooperation with CARDI in Trinidad on the implementation of two projects that contribute to food security for the population and training of Haitian professionals; and 3) IICA and CARDI facilitated distribution in Haiti of maize seeds and peas donated by CARICOM, benefitting a large number of small producers. 23

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25 Special Report on Key Projects and Achievements Jamaica Strengthening of Greenhouse Production and Fisheries Sub-sector The greenhouse and fisheries sub-sectors have been strengthened through the successful completion of the Improving Jamaica s Agricultural Productivity (IJAP) project, funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). The major results achieved included: construction of 40 greenhouses, construction of 2 pack houses, rehabilitation of 6 fishing beaches, deployment of lobster condominiums in 5 sites, deployment of artificial reefs in 2 fish sanctuaries, training of greenhouse growers and extension personnel, and training of fisher folk and fisheries officers. The knowledge base of the Jamaica Greenhouse Growers Association (JGGA) was also strengthened through the visit of JGGA representatives to Mexico to learn about strawberry production under protected agriculture conditions. This was facilitated by the IICA Office in Jamaica in collaboration with IICA Mexico. Improved Capacity of Apiculture Sector to Manage Economically Important Diseases The capacity of the apiculture sector to manage and contain American FoulBrood (AFB) disease was strengthened through the successful completion of the project Strengthening Capacity of Stakeholders in the Apiculture Sector to Control and Manage the American Foulbrood Disease and Enhance Production, which was funded by the European Union. The project undertook an island-wide inspection of apiaries for AFB disease and burning of infected hives. The project also included training for selected beekeepers and establishment of commercial apiaries for the new national beekeeping associations. A follow-up workshop on post-project monitoring of AFB disease, and discussion of other beekeeping diseases, was also facilitated by the IICA Office during The CharlesTown Bee Farmers Association was strengthened through a group dynamics intervention facilitated by the IICA Office, which resulted in the election of a new executive and revitalization of the association. Youth in Agribusiness Awarded The recognition of successes among youth involved in Agribusiness at the commemoration of IICA s 70th anniversary during the Denbigh Agricultural and Industrial Show, contributed to the increased visibility and promotion of youth involvement in agriculture. Institutional Strengthening for Agricultural Health and Food Safety Performance, Vision and Strategy (PVS) assessments, as well as draft reports for the plant health and food safety sub-sectors, were completed under the execution of the PVS Project funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) / Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Agricultural Competitiveness Programme. 25

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27 Special Report on Key Projects and Achievements Saint Kitts and Nevis Strategic Plan for Agriculture The Ministry of Agriculture has developed a mediumterm plan to promote agricultural diversification and modernization, with technical support from IICA. Information Management and Communication System The information and communication infrastructure and systems at the Ministry of Agriculture have been upgraded following IICA s support, with an assessment and survey of agriculture among key stakeholders, and the design and management of a functional website for the Ministry of Agriculture and its departments. Youths Adopt Shadehouse Technology in Schools Young farmers have the capacity to manage vegetable production under shadehouses, and to generate income for their schools, through the construction of 2 shadehouses financed by the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) and executed by IICA, in collaboration with the Youth Forum. Agribusiness Management for Small-scale Processors Farmers and agro-processors have successfully improved their business and management capabilities through a series of workshops aimed at addressing various technical topics, such as: cost of production of commodities, development of business plans, entrepreneurship, financial management, and the sharing of best practices. Institutional support for increasing the value-added to root crops has also been strengthened through training provided by IICA to the Ministry of Agriculture. 27

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29 Special Report on Key Projects and Achievements Saint Lucia Nutrition Improvements in the Livestock Sector The productive capacity of agribusinesses in the small ruminant subsector was strengthened through the introduction of new forage species and training in the production, management, and preservation of these new feed sources. Twenty small ruminant farmers received Tithonia ssp and mulberry cuttings for the establishment of forage banks on their farms to address the issue of insufficiency of high-quality feed, which is a longstanding problem. Over seventy small ruminant farmers also benefitted from a major workshop on small ruminant management and nutrition, in an effort to boost the productivity of their enterprises and the standardization of their products. Value-added in the Small Ruminant Sector The management and operational capabilities of producer organizations were strengthened, mainly through training initiatives aimed at specific deficiencies in operational procedures and management within these organizations. A major retreat was held for the Small Ruminant Cooperative Society, to restructure its executive and develop a strategic development plan for the group. The Pork Producers Cooperative Society also benefitted from two training interventions, both targeted at waste management within the industry. The first focused on water quality and the second targeted the construction of low-cost biogas digesters, not only as a waste management strategy, but also as a means of providing cheap energy for farm and household operations, as well as for the production of biofertilizers. Empowerment of Women and Youth The knowledge and organizational capacities of youth and women were strengthened through training and knowledge transfer. The Saint Lucia Agriculture Forum for Youth (SLAFY) finalized a five year strategic development plan, and members gained skills in proposal writing and accessing funds. Youth entrepreneurship was also enhanced with the launch of the third phase of the project Helping Out Our Primary and Secondary Schools (HOOPSS). Medium-Term Strategic Development Plan The Ministry of Agriculture benefitted from support provided by the Institute in the design of a strategic plan for the newly constituted Ministry of Agriculture, Food Production, and Rural Development. The strategic alliances with agriculture and rural development partners in the sub-region were also strengthened during the period, through collaboration with the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Secretariat to develop a draft common rural development policy for the member countries. Farmers and Students Trained in Protected Agriculture Training has been provided to farmers and agricultural science students in Saint Lucia, with the establishment of two greenhouses funded by the Government of Mexico. 29

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31 Special Report on Key Projects and Achievements Saint Vincent and The Grenadines Successful Management of Threats Leads to Revival of Beekeeping Industry The beekeeping industry has rebounded from virtually no production in 2006, to over 900 gallons of honey in 2012 due to timely intervention by IICA. IICA s strategic intervention involved assistance from FAVACA to bring a Master Beekeeper, who undertook three days of intensive field visits to apiaries to assess the state and health of the hives, which was followed by an IICA-organized workshop on innovative methods in beekeeping, and information on the emerging regional threat of the African small hive beetle. The Beekeepers Association Inc. (BKAI) and other key stakeholders in the beekeeping industry in St. Vincent and the Grenadines have therefore enhanced their technical competence in beekeeping, and have gained the knowledge needed to counter potential challenges arising from new external threats. They have also consolidated the revival of their industry after its devastation in 2006 as a result of exotic pest infestation. Training was also provided to the Ministry of Agriculture, thereby strengthening the support provided to the industry. 31

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