The CTA has listed Grenada as one of the countries poised for further agricultural diversification and has thrown its support behind the sector, which will contribute to the development of smallholder farming through the MNIB.
The project will see the marriage of some of the major supporting sectors, such as Tourism, and explore the ways in which agriculture and agro-processing can be mutually beneficial to further the development of the sectors.
Minister for Economic Development, Hon. Oliver Joseph, elaborated on the ways in which a combination of the various Ministries can assist in making Grenada more economically stable, as the country moves to focus its efforts on Agro processing, Health Care through proper healthy diets, and improve exports of locally grown Grenadian foods.
Chief Executive Officer of the MNIB, Mr. Ruel Edwards, gave an overview of the entire project, before a large gathering of Farmers, Hoteliers, Restaurant and Supermarket owners and operators.
Mr. Edwards was very careful to remind stakeholders that their continued commitment to the project was critical for its success as it lays the foundation for further assistance from the CTA and other agencies. This commitment is especially important as Grenada is now on the launch pad for further economic growth and sustainable development.
Farmers were specifically targeted as this project will assist in enhancing their capability to achieve better quality production, improve efficiency, and to take a more serious business approach to their livelihood.
CEO Edwards said these specific objectives will form the nucleus of the expected achievements of the project.
"The CTA has built up a reputation in the region as a vibrant and determined actor to enhance the agricultural agenda.
"Over the years we have seen the support for high level dialogue in bringing finance to the agricultural sector, significant support of the Caribbean Week of Agriculture and the promotion of development of sustainable and profitable value chains and agribusinesses" said Mr. Edwards.
This project fits into the overall strategy of CTA, as reflected in its regional business plan, to focus on linkages between small farmers, particularly women and youth, into the value chain through agricultural development and to do so through enhancing their capabilities. This will be achieved through:
- Provision of critical business development services to allow for consistent production;
- Streamlining horizontal coordination to ensure that market demands from the hospitality sector are satisfied;
- Capacity enhancement of the MNIB and other value actors in regards to the use of ICT; and
- The updating of a web-based forecasting system and online mapping that link all actors within the value chain.
The project has a total value of just over Euro 93,000 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.