GRENADA’S AGRICULTURE SECTOR CONTRIBUTES TO THE PREPARATION OF IICA’S NEW MEDIUM TERM PLAN
Written by Derek Charles, on March 21, 2018
As support for the preparation of the 2018-2022 Medium Term Plan (MTP) of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), 18 Grenadian stakeholders representing nine entities were consulted based on the context and prospects for agriculture in Grenada.
Consultations were in the form of open dialogue and individual face-to-face discussions. The open dialogue session involved nine senior members of the Ministry of Agriculture and took place at the offices of the IICA Delegation in Grenada. The majority of the face-to-face sessions were held at the stakeholders’ workplaces.
Many of the stakeholders intimated the need for interventions in food and nutrition security; resilience to climate change; investment in agriculture; natural resource management and sustainable agriculture.
The emphasis on the latter encompasses organic production, which in turn influences how crops and animals are produced and the concomitant benefits for maintaining marine life, thus providing added support to food and nutrition security.
In some cases, the stakeholders mentioned that more emphasis should be placed on strategic alignment of agricultural interventions to complement existing programmes in the country. For example, activities related to sustainable development should involve the Grenada Sustainable Development Council at the planning, implementation and evaluation stages.
With respect to investment in agriculture, stakeholders placed much emphasis on risk management, to include protection for crop losses and support for the recovery process after a climate-induced event.
In alignment with food and nutrition security, they felt the need to build food safety systems (investment in laboratory services i.e. human capacity and structures) and being competitive and able to produce some essential crops year round.
Most stakeholders were of the view that mobilization of financial resources available through international agencies and third countries (including South-South cooperation) was an important path that IICA should follow to strengthen its technical cooperation services within the country.
Derek Charles, National Specialist at IICA in Grenada, mentioned that the consultation process was very rich and open, and that there was consensus on the different areas proposed for inclusion in the MTP.
The CARDI Representative in Grenada, Reginald Andall, stated that more competitive value chains need to be developed with partners in business, and that those partnerships were critical to development in agriculture. On the other hand, the Chief Agriculture Officer within the Ministry of Agriculture, Daniel Lewis, placed significant emphasis on the need for food and nutrition security.
The Director General of IICA, Manuel Otero, stated that the recommendations made by the participants would be crucial for the development of a road map aimed at meeting country needs.
“When we understand the way our countries think and what their priorities are, we are able to efficiently target and distribute our resources, while working together to address national demands. This process guarantees IICA’s institutional strengthening moving forward,” he stated.
On the other hand, Diego Montenegro, Director of Management and Regional Integration of IICA, stated that the participatory preparation of the new MTP began with an internal consultation process involving Institute personnel. The second phase consists of a broad consultation process with counterparts that work with IICA’s Delegations.
“In addition to the consultation processes currently underway in each of the Member States, we have identified the Delegations that work closely with the regional integration mechanisms, and have requested their input in order to develop the MTP’s regional scope,” he stated.
This consultation process for the development of the MTP took place in all 34 member countries of IICA and was intended to ensure that stakeholders have an opportunity to contribute to the development of the plan, which must be ratified by the Inter-American Board of Agriculture later this year.