CARICOM’s LaRocque, in Dominica, Calls for Action on Food Security

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Above: SG Irwin LaRocque (UN Photo/JC McIlwaine)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

The Caribbean is at an opportune moment to demonstrate that it is serious about achieving food and nutrition security, CARICOM Secretary General and Dominican native Irwin LaRocque said at the 10th Caribbean Week of Agriculture in Roseau.

Two months ago, global food prices were 26 percent higher than in the same period last year, LaRocque said, challenging the region to create sustainable food production systems.

“We have to maintain a supply of healthy food at affordable prices even as there is mounting pressure on nearly every element affecting the process,” he said. “We must increase our regional content in food; we must utilise more local inputs, feeds and fertilizers; and we must improve the productivity of land, labour and capital.”

The region needs to be more proactive than reactive, he said, urging the removal of key binding constraints to the development of the Caribbean agriculture sector.

He cited several countries that were doing their part to improve local production, from a cassava flour initiative in Guyana, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago to Jamaica’s “Eat Jamaica” initiative.